Thu, 30 May 2024
Rahul summoned in defamation suit by Savarkar kin

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi/File image
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi/File image
23:56   Rahul summoned in defamation suit by Savarkar kin
A court in Pune on Thursday issued an order directing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to appear before it in a complaint filed by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's grandnephew accusing him of defaming the Hindutva ideologue, the petitioner's lawyer claimed. 

While Gandhi was not represented by any lawyer during the hearing, the detailed order was yet to be made available. 

The order was passed by judicial magistrate (first class) Akshi Jain. 

It came two days after Pune police stated in a report that there was prima facie truth in the complaint filed Satyaki Savarkar who alleged that the Congress leader defamed the late freedom fighter in a speech made in London in 2023. 

The order stated that the next hearing would be on August 19, 2024, and the stage was "appearance". 

Advocate Sangram Kolhatkar, lawyer of Satyaki Savarkar, claimed that the judge had asked Gandhi to appear before the court on that date. 

It was not clear immediately if the Congress leader was expected to be present, or can appear through his lawyer. -- PTI
23:38   Mumbai hoarding mishap: Engineer held for giving stability certificate
A 47-year-old structural engineer was arrested on Thursday for allegedly giving a stability certificate for the hoarding that collapsed earlier this month killing 17 persons, an official said. 

Manoj Ramkrishna Sanghu is the second person to be taken into custody in connection with the accident in the city's Ghatkopar area that also left over 80 injured. 

The crime branch arrested Sanghu after his role came to the fore, he said. 

Sanghu, who was empanelled by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, had given a stability certificate for the hoarding, which crashed onto a petrol pump after gusty winds and unseasonal rains lashed the city on May 13. 

M/s Ego Media Private Limited had erected the hoarding on a plot in the possession of the Government Railway Police. 

While installing the 120 feet x140 feet hoarding, the foundation should have been at least 20 feet deep, but it was superficial and substandard, the official said. 

Instead of raising objection, Sanghu issued a stability certificate for it, he said. Sanghu would be produced in the court on Friday. -- PTI
File image
File image
23:31   CR's mega block: Travel only if necessary, says Rlys; BEST to run more buses
Central Railway will operate two mega blocks over a 63-hour period between Friday and Sunday during which 72 long distance and 930 suburban trains will remain cancelled, a senior official said on Thursday. 

The mega blocks are in place to widen platforms 5 and 6 in Thane as well as to extend platforms 10 and 11 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the official said. 

"A total of 72 mail-express trains and 930 suburban trains on the main line and harbour corridors will remain cancelled between Friday and Sunday," said Swapnil Nila, chief public relations officer of Central Railway. 

The railways appealed to citizens to travel only if necessary and asked undertakings like the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport to operate additional bus services for the convenience of passengers. 

In a release issued late Thursday evening, BEST said it plans to run 254 extra services on nine routes with 43 extra buses during the mega block period. 

Due to the mega blocks, several mail-express and suburban trains will be short-terminated and short-originated from Wadala, Dadar, Thane, Pune, Panvel and Nashik stations, officials said. 

They said suburban services would not be affected much on Friday due to the widening of platforms at Thane but services are expected to take a significant hit on Saturday and Sunday. -- PTI
The vehicle that hit the bikers/Screen grab
The vehicle that hit the bikers/Screen grab
23:11   Karan Bhushan on how the 2 bikers got run over
A day after two motorcyclists were killed in an accident involving the cavalcade of Bharatiya Janata Party's Kaiserganj candidate Karan Bhushan Singh, the leader Thursday said the youths were run over by the car after they hit a woman and then fell in the path of the car. 

Karan Singh, who is the son of sitting Kaiserganj MP and former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, said the two cousins -- Rehan Khan (17) and Shehzad Khan (20) -- on a motorcycle knocked into the woman when she suddenly appeared on the road. 

They fell in the path of the SUV and got run over by the last car in his convoy, Karan Singh said while describing the accident as "painful' and a "coincidence'. 

According to the BJP leader, the two victims were his father Brij Bhushan's supporters. 

Karan Singh said some of his party volunteers were present with the victim's family and also took part in their funeral. 

On Wednesday, the police had said that the driver of the SUV that hit the duo lost control of the vehicle and also hit Sita Devi (60) who was walking on the roadside. -- PTI
Karnataka deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar
Karnataka deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar
22:28   Shivakumar claims 'Shatru Bhairavi Yaga' performed against him, CM, govt
Karnataka deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar on Thursday claimed that a ritual named "Shatru Bhairavi Yaga", which involves the sacrifice of animals, is being performed at a temple in Kerala, targeting him, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the Congress government in the state. 

The state Congress chief, without revealing any names, alleged that some political people in Karnataka were getting it done, and Aghoris (monastic order of ascetic Shaivite sadhus) were being consulted for it. 

"A big experiment is going on against me in Kerala and our government. Someone has given (details) about it to me in writing, about the pooja that is going on. Someone gave me in writing as to where it is being done and who is doing it," Shivakumar said, when asked about a bracelet he was wearing. 

Speaking to reporters here, he alleged that it is being done against him and the chief minister. 

"Shatru Bhairavi Yaga is being performed near Rajarajeshwari temple in Kerala for Shatru Samhara (destruction of enemies). For this yaga 'Pancha Bali' (five kinds of sacrifice) is being given...21 goats, three buffaloes, 21 black sheeps, five pigs....Aghoris are being approached. It is going on," he added. 

Further stating that those involved in the ritual have informed him, as to who is getting the yaga done in Kerala, and by whom, the Deputy CM said, "it is their effort, why should I bother?" -- PTI
Pic: Hatem Khaled/Reuters
Pic: Hatem Khaled/Reuters
21:58   Loss of lives in Israeli strike on Rafah 'heart-breaking': India
India on Thursday described as "heartbreaking" the loss of civilian lives in an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and called for respecting international humanitarian law in the ongoing conflict. 

Local officials in Gaza said 45 people were killed in the May 26 air strike, most of them sheltering in tents. 

The strike triggered massive global outrage including criticism from some of Israel's closest allies. 

"The heartbreaking loss of civilian lives in the displacement camp in Rafah is a matter of deep concern for us," external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said. 

"We have consistently called for protection of the civilian population and respect for international humanitarian law in the ongoing conflict," he said. 

Jaiswal was responding to a question on the situation in Gaza at his weekly media briefing. 

"We also note that the Israeli side has already accepted responsibility for it as a tragic incident and announced an investigation into the incident," he said.
File image
File image
21:30   8 die of suspected heat stroke in Bihar amid heatwave
Intense heatwave conditions prevailed across Bihar on Thursday where the mercury soared past the 44 degrees Celsius mark in many places while eight persons lost their lives in the state suspected to have been caused by the scorching weather. 

The state disaster management department, while confirming the number of deaths, said the cause of death could not be ascertained since most of the bereaved family members refused to go for post-mortem examinations while reports of the other deceased are awaited. 

The state reeled under the sizzling heat as the day temperature crossed 44 degrees C at several places across the state on Thursday. 

Buxar recorded the highest temperature of 47.1 deg C. 

Eight deaths due to suspected heat stroke were reported from Arwal, Buxar, Rohtas and Begusarai districts. 

"Only after receiving the autopsy reports, the authorities will be in a position to state the reasons behind the deaths. As of now, we can't comment on this. Some post-mortem examination reports are awaited. We are waiting for that," a senior official of the state disaster management department said. 

Amid intense heatwave conditions in the state, the Bihar government on Wednesday ordered the closure of all private and government-run schools, coaching institutes and Anganwadi centres until June 8. -- PTI
20:59   Depressed IT professional ends life by inhaling nitrogen gas in MP
A 32-year-old IT professional being treated for depression and back pain allegedly committed suicide in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh after wrapping a polythene bag tightly around his face and inhaling nitrogen from his mouth through a pipe, a police official said on Thursday. 

As per police, Siddharth Khurana, who ended his life on Tuesday, left behind a 4-page suicide note in English in which he detailed his failures and said he was sick of living a "miserable life". 

Quoting from the suicide note, police sources said the deceased had dwelt at length about surfing the internet to find out ways for an easy death. 

After reading about hanging, consuming poison etc, he opted for inhaling nitrogen gas as it kills within 40 seconds, police sources said. 

In the note, Khurana has mentioned actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who committed suicide in Mumbai in June 2020, Misrod police station inspector Manishraj Bhadauriya said but refused to elaborate. -- PTI
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File image
20:34   Barber kept in lockup for reaching late at cop's house in UP's Budaun
A barber was kept in a lockup at a police station in Bdaun for allegedly reaching late at a police officer's residence for a haircut, officials said on Thursday. 

The incident occurred when circle officer Sunil Kumar had called Vinod Kumar, a barber, at this residence for a haircut, they said. 

Talking to the media, the victim's brother Shiv Kumar said, "Vinod was busy with other customers so he got a bit late in reaching the residence of the CO. A few hours later some police personnel came to our shop. They closed it and took Vinod to the Bisauli police station." 

"They kept Vinod in the lock-up till Wednesday afternoon," he added. 

Following the incident, the Superintendent of Police Alok Priyadarshi said that the matter has come to his notice and an investigation is underway. 

"Action will be taken against the person responsible," Priyadarshi said. -- PTI
PM Narendra Modi during a public meeting in Jalandhar, May 24, 2024/ANI Photo
PM Narendra Modi during a public meeting in Jalandhar, May 24, 2024/ANI Photo
20:13   Complaint filed against Modi over Mahatma remarks
National Award-winning filmmaker Luit Kumar Barman has filed a police complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his controversial comments on Mahatma Gandhi. Barman filed the complaint on Wednesday night at Hatigaon police station in Guwahati, alleging that Modi made a "highly derogatory statement" about the Father of the Nation. 

The police said a preliminary investigation is on and no FIR was registered yet in this connection. 

Prime Minister Modi in a TV interview to a TV channel said, "...Across the world, Mahatma Gandhi was a great person. Was it not our responsibility in these 75 years to ensure that the entire world knows Mahatma Gandhi. I am sorry to say that no one knows about him. The first time when the film Gandhi was made, it was then that there was curiosity across the world as to who this person was. We have not done so..." 

In his complaint, Barman said, "This is a highly derogatory statement and cannot be acceptable by a citizen of India. As a citizen, we can not accept insult to Mahatma Gandhi." 

No film is required to introduce him to the world, said Barman who produced the 2021 Assamese film Boomba Ride which won the Rajat Kamal. -- PTI
19:56   Delhi hospital fire: Court sends owner, doctor to 14-day judicial custody
A metropolitan court in Delhi on Thursday sent to 14 days judicial custody the owner and on-duty doctor of the private hospital where a blaze on May 25 killed seven newborns and injured five. 

Chief metropolitan magistrate Vidhi Gupta Anand sent Dr Naveen Khichi, the hospital's owner and Dr Aaksh, who was on duty at the time of the fire late last Saturday, to judicial custody. 

Meanwhile, the doctor has filed a bail plea which will be heard on June 3. 

A massive fire broke out on Saturday night at Baby Care New Born Child Hospital in east Delhi's Vivek Vihar that was allegedly operating illegally with an "expired" licence and without any clearance from the fire department. 

A case has been registered at Vivek Vihar police station under IPC sections 336 (act endangering life and personal safety of others), 304A (causing death by negligence), 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide). -- PTI
Chinese President Xi Jinping/ Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping/ Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters
19:28   Taiwan independence' means war, warns Chinese military
The Chinese military on Thursday warned that 'Taiwan independence' means war and said it was ready to take resolute actions to thwart foreign interference in support of "separatist activities in the estranged island.

China's reunification is an irreversible trend of history and the People's Liberation Army is ready to take resolute actions to counter any "Taiwan independence, Chinese military spokesperson Sr. Col. Wu Qian told the media in Beijing.

Wu was reacting to a question on Taiwan's new leader Lai Ching-te's pro-independence speech during his swearing-in as the island's new President on May 20.

Lai, 64, also known as William Lai, who succeeded his independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party colleague Tsai Ing-wen after winning the popular vote in the January Presidential election this year, was sworn in as the president at a ceremony held in Taipei on Monday.

China views Taiwan as a rebel province that must be reunified with the mainland, even by force.

Lai's DPP party does not seek independence from China but maintains that Taiwan is already a sovereign nation.

In his no-holds-barred inaugural speech, Lai called on China to stop threatening the island, promised to uphold the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and called on Beijing to work jointly for peace. -- PTI
19:10   Azam Khan gets 10-year jail in forced eviction case
A court in Rampur on Thursday sentenced Samajwadi Party leader Mohammad Azam Khan to 10 years of imprisonment in an eight-year-old case of forcibly vacating a house and beating the owner. 

The punishment was pronounced by the Special MP/MLA Court, which also imposed a fine of Rs 14 lakh on the SP leader. 

The court had on Wednesday found Khan guilty in the case of forcefully evacuating, looting and demolishing a house in Dungarpur. 

Senior prosecution officer Shiv Prakash Pandey and prosecution officer Rakesh Kumar Morya said the case was registered by plaintiff Abrar in Thana Ganj in which he alleged that on December 6, 2016, Ale Hasan and Barkat Ali Contractor entered his house, thrashed him and looted goods from the house. 

He had also alleged that the duo tried to kill him and demolish his house. Khan is accused of conspiracy in this case. 

The file of former circle officer Ale Hasan was separated because his proceedings are stayed as per the order of the Allahabad high court. 

The special court's verdict was only in the case involving Khan and Ali, who was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 6 lakh was also imposed on him. 

If Ali fails to pay this fine, he will have to undergo an additional punishment of 18 months of rigorous imprisonment, the court said. -- PTI
19:01   Monsoon hits Kerala, schedule for onset in rest of country
Spurred by cyclone Remal, the southwest monsoon set in over the Kerala coast and parts of the northeast on Thursday, a day earlier than forecast by the weather office.
Pic: Toby Melville/Reuters
Pic: Toby Melville/Reuters
18:49   NSE Indices launches India's first EV index
NSE Indices Ltd, a subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange, on Thursday launched the EV and new-age automotive index to track the performance of companies which form a part of the EV ecosystem. 

This would be the country's first ever electric vehicle (EV) index. 

"The launch of the Nifty EV and new-age automotive index will facilitate creation of products which will create opportunity for asset managers to invest in the electric vehicle and new-age automotive market thereby providing an investment vehicle to investors," NSE Indices said in a statement. 

The base date for the new thematic index is April 2, 2018, and the base value is 1,000. 

The index will be reconstituted semi-annually and rebalanced on a quarterly basis. 

The index is expected to act as a benchmark for asset managers and be a reference index tracked by passive funds in the form of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), index funds and structured products.
File image
File image
18:21   Female crew member of airline held in Kerala for smuggling gold in rectum
A female crew member of an airline was held for allegedly smuggling nearly one kilogram of gold from Muscat to Kannur by concealing it in her rectum, a Directorate of Revenue Intelligence source said in Kannur on Thursday. 

Based on specific intelligence by DRI Cochin, officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI - Kannur) intercepted the cabin crew member named Surabhi Khatun, a native of Kolkata, who arrived from Muscat at Kannur International Airport on May 28. 

Her personal search resulted in the recovery of 960 grams of smuggled gold in compound form concealed in her rectum, the source said. 

After interrogation and completing the necessary formalities, she was produced before the jurisdictional magistrate and remanded to 14 days to women's prison in Kannur, the source said. 

This is the first case in India where an airline crew member has been apprehended for smuggling gold by concealing it in the rectum, the source claimed. 

A detailed investigation has started and the evidence gathered so far suggests she had previously smuggled gold several times. 

The involvement of Kerala-based individuals in the smuggling gang is also being investigated, the source added. -- PTI
Rescue operation underway at the accident site/ANI on X
Rescue operation underway at the accident site/ANI on X
18:14   21 killed as bus with Haryana devotees falls into gorge in Jammu
Twenty-one people were killed and 47 injured after a bus carrying pilgrims skidded off the road and rolled down into a gorge in Jammu district on Thursday, officials said. 

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has expressed anguish at the loss of lives in the accident. 

The accident took place at the Tungi-Morh in the Chowki Chora belt of the district, the officials said, adding that the bus rolled around 150 feet down into the gorge. 

A police spokesperson said at about 12:35 pm, the bus bearing registration number UP81CT-4058 fell into the gorge, killing 21 passengers and injuring 47. 

The bus was carrying devotees from Haryana's Kurukshetra and was headed towards Shiv Khori in the Pouni area of Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district. 

It had started its journey from Uttar Pradesh. 

The bodies have been shifted to the Akhnoor sub-district hospital, the police spokesperson said, adding that of the injured, seven have been admitted in the Akhnoor hospital and 40 in the Government Medical College hospital in Jammu. 

The rescue operation is going on, the official added. -- PTI
17:58   Cyclone Remal triggers floods across Manipur, govt declares two-day holiday
Continuous rainfall triggered by cyclone Remal has caused flooding across multiple districts in Manipur, prompting the state government to initiate active rescue and relief operations, an official said. 

In view of severe flooding caused by breaches in embankments along river banks, the government on Thursday declared a two-day public holiday for all state offices until May 31. 

Citizens have been urged to stay indoors unless faced with an emergency, according to a government directive. 

"Both May 30 and May 31 have been designated public holidays for all state government offices, corporations, autonomous bodies, and societies under the Manipur government," the order added.

Departments responsible for rescue, relief, and essential services, such as home, police, relief and disaster management, power, health and family welfare, district administration, and water resources, will continue to operate, it added. 

Meanwhile, rescue operations of stranded people continued in badly-hit areas of Imphal East and Imphal West districts. 

Fishermen from Thanga in Bishnupur district are aiding the Loktak Development Authority in evacuating flood-hit people using traditional canoes, with similar efforts underway in various locations including Laipham Khunou and Khuman Lampak. -- PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi/File image
Prime Minister Narendra Modi/File image
17:27   Modi reaches Kanyakumari for 2-day meditation
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kanyakumari on Thursday to embark on a 45-hour long meditation session at the famed Vivekananda Rock Memorial. 

The PM arrived from nearby Thiruvananthapuram and he is scheduled to offer worship at the Bhagavathi Amman temple and later reach Vivekananda Rock Memorial and perform meditation for nearly two days. 

Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit the Thiruvalluvar statue, next to the memorial. 

Both the memorial and statue were built on tiny islets, that are separate and mound-like rocky formations in the sea. 

All arrangements, including heavy security, are in place for Modi's 45-hour stay at the famed, mid-sea memorial, named after the revered Hindu seer. 

Modi will meditate at Rock Memorial, a monument built in tribute to Swami Vivekananda, here following the culmination of the Lok Sabha polls campaign later on Thursday, BJP leaders had said. 

The PM had undertaken a similar exercise in a Kedarnath cave after the 2019 poll campaign. -- PTI
16:42   Porsche teen's blood sample replaced with woman's
Blood samples of juvenile involved in Porsche crash replaced with those of a woman, police tell Pune court.  

Pune Crime Branch officials are planning to use artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools for 'digital reconstruction' of a Porsche car crash, wherein a teenager mowed down two IT professionals to death with his luxury car on the night of May 19.  

 A senior official of Pune Police on Wednesday said that the crime branch unit will use artificial intelligence for 'digital reconstruction' of the incident.
The ANC has held sway for 30 years and was founded by Nelson Mandela
The ANC has held sway for 30 years and was founded by Nelson Mandela
16:39   SA election trends show ANC losing ground
The ruling African National Congress received around 43 per cent of the ballots cast in the general election while the opposition Democratic Alliance garnered 26 per cent, according to the latest trends as counting progressed at 23,000 voting stations across South Africa on Thursday.

 However, the final result of Wednesday's election would be available only on Sunday, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has said. Analysts emphasised that it was still too early to confirm whether this would be a trend to support widespread predictions that the African National Congress (ANC) would lose the majority it has held since Nelson Mandela became the country's first democratically president 30 years ago after the end of the apartheid regime.
The PM will meditate at Vivekananda Rock for 24 hours
The PM will meditate at Vivekananda Rock for 24 hours
16:26   PM held 200 events in 75 days of poll rallies
Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his election campaign in Punjab's Hoshiarpur on Thursday, for the final phase of the general elections, which are set for Saturday. 

 The Bharatiya Janata Party is eying its third term in office, and Prime Minister Modi has extensively campaigned for his party across the length and breadth of the country. 

 After wrapping up his Lok Sabha election campaign, PM Modi is scheduled to visit Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari from May 30 to June 1, where he will visit the renowned Vivekananda Rock Memorial. 

 The Prime Minister plans to meditate at the Dhyan Mandapam, the same spot where Swami Vivekananda once meditated, from the evening of May 30 to the evening of June 1. This is the southernmost tip of India. Further, this is the place where India's eastern and western coastlines meet. It is also the meeting point of the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, and Arabian Sea. PM Modi is sending a signal of national unity by going to Kanyakumari. The Prime Minister is known to undertake spiritual journeys at the end of election campaigns. In line with this, he will reach Kanyakumari on May 30 and stay there till June 1. In 2019, he visited Kedarnath, and in 2014, he visited Shivaji's Pratapgarh. The PM kicked off his poll campaign for the ongoing Lok Sabha election in Kanniyakumari on March 16 this year. 

 The Prime Minister held more than 200 election campaign events, which included his rallies and roadshows for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, in 75 days. 

 Prime Minister Modi held rallies in various constituencies for the seven phases of the Lok Sabha elections. Some of the major states where he held most of the roadshows and rallies include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Odisha. 

 PM Modi also gave a record number of interviews to different media organisations and highlighted the development work done by the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Bangladesh MP Anwarul Azim
Bangladesh MP Anwarul Azim
15:59   Slain B'desh MP's daughter to visit Kolkata for DNA test
As the probe continues in the case of Bangladeshi MP Anwarul Azim Anar's killing, the daughter of the Bangladeshi MP will come to Kolkata soon for the DNA examination. 

Bangladesh Detective Department Chief Harun-or-Rashid, on Thursday, highlighted that the other accused behind the killing of the Bangladeshi MP is hiding in Nepal or the US. 

 "Bangladesh MP's daughter will come to Kolkata very soon for the DNA examination. Another accused is hiding in Nepal or the US. CID West Bengal and our team are also seeking help from Interpol," he said. 

 Harun-or-Rashid further thanked the West Bengal CID for cooperating with them. "I would like to thank CID West Bengal and other senior officials of West Bengal and Kolkata police. During the last few days, we went to the place of occurrence and interrogated the accused in the CID office, from there we got information which matched the statement of another accused who is in the custody of Bangladesh Police," he said.

 Bangladeshi Detective Department Chief further noted that they sent the flesh and hair found in the septic tank for forensic examination. 

 "With the help of CID West Bengal, we inspected the sewage line and got flesh and hair from the septic tank which was sent for forensic examination," he said. 

 Harun-or-Rashid, who arrived in India on Sunday said that any development in the case could only be confirmed once results on the flesh samples are received. "We have opened the sewage line and septic tank of that duplex flat (murder site) with the help of West Bengal CID and found flesh there," Harun-or-Rashid told media persons on Wednesday.
15:32   Chhota Rajan gets lifer for hotelier's murder
Court sentences gangster Chhota Rajan to life imprisonment in case of murder of Mumbai hotelier Jaya Shetty in 2001. 

Earlier today, a special court in Mumbai convicted the gangster in the case of the murder of hotelier Jaya Shetty. Special judge for cases under the Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), AM Patil, held Rajan guilty under the Indian Penal Code provisions for murder. 
15:29   Peak power demand hits all-time high at 246 GW
India's peak power demand hit a record high of 246.06 GW per day after mercury touched highest-ever levels in Delhi and other places, prompting use of air-conditioners and other electricity-consuming cooling devices, the power ministry said on Thursday. 

 The peak power demand met, or the highest supply in the day, was recorded at 246.06 GW on Wednesday, which is the maximum so far in the summer season this year, according to the power ministry data. It was 237.94 GW on Tuesday.

 The previous peak power demand of 243.27 GW was recorded in September 2023. The ongoing summer season's previous highest demand of 239.96 GW was recorded on May 24 this year.
15:12   Hundreds take part in 'Hassan Chalo' protest against Prajwal
Hundreds of people took part in a march in Hassan, Karnataka, on Thursday, seeking justice for the victims of the alleged sexual abuse by suspended JD(S) leader Prajwal Revanna. They also demand the arrest of the accused and a fair probe into the cases. 

The march under the banner 'Namma Nadige, Hassanada Kadega' (Our march towards Hassan), was organised by 'Naveddu Nilladiddare' (If we don't stand up), a human rights collective, and was joined by civil society groups from across the state, including women, labour, farmers, Dalit, and sexual minority. 

The march was held amid the beats of 'Tamate' (a percussion instrument) and drums. Besides demanding the arrest of Prajwal, the participants also sought justice for the victims and expressed solidarity with them.

 The protest march began at Hemavathi statue near Maharaja Park here and concluded by handing over a memorandum to Hassan Deputy Commissioner C Sathyabhama, following which a mega convention was held at Taluk office road, during which activists reiterated their demand.

 They also strongly condemned the vested interests for exploiting the women in the videos for "political gains", and called on the government to ensure the survivors' privacy, and safety.

 Apart from the demand for action against those behind the circulation of pen drives containing videos of sexual assault, they urged the administration to ensure the deletion of videos which are in circulation on social media platforms. Noted activists including former MP Subhashini Ali, writer Roopa Hassan, Vimala K S were among those who participated in the march. PTI
Manipur CM N Biren Singh's home gets partially submerged
Manipur CM N Biren Singh's home gets partially submerged
15:07   Troops rescue 1,000 people from floods in Manipur
The troops of the Assam Rifles have rescued about 1,000 people from flood-affected areas in Manipur, which was badly hit by incessant rains due to the cyclone Remal.

 In a statement, the Assam Rifles said its troops successfully carried out rescue operation in the flood-affected areas in Imphal city and provided succour to the distraught and stranded people on Tuesday. Approximately 1,000 local people were rescued from the devastating floodwaters, the statement said.
VK Pandian
VK Pandian
15:01   Ridiculous! Patnaik on Pandian 'gatekeeper' barb
Dismissing allegations made by BJP leaders of VK Pandian "controlling the state", Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that these are ridiculous and hold no significance.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, on being questioned if his close associate VK Pandian acts as a gatekeeper and whether he takes all decisions on his behalf, Patnaik said, "That is ridiculous and I have said it often before. This is an old allegation and it holds no weight."

On BJP making such accusations against his close confidant, Patnaik suggested that such allegations stem from the BJP's increasing desperation due to their declining popularity both in Odisha and nationally."I see it that they are getting more and more desperate, particularly as their popularity is waning in the country," Patnaik asserted.

Addressing queries about his party's future leadership, Patnaik assured that the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) is focused on serving the people of Odisha."They see how the party is being run and the party is being run for the service of the people of Odisha and will continue to do so," Patnaik affirmed. -- ANI
Delhi Chief Minister holds a road show in Jalandhar
Delhi Chief Minister holds a road show in Jalandhar
14:37   Delhi court issues notice to ED on Kejriwal's regular bail plea
A Delhi court on Thursday issued notice to the ED on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's plea seeking regular bail in a money laundering case related to the alleged excise scam. 

 Special Judge Kaveri Baweja also directed the central probe agency to file its response to Kejriwal's plea by Saturday. The judge also sought the ED's response on another plea of Kejriwal seeking interim bail for a week on medical grounds in case the regular bail plea is not allowed. Kejriwal is currently on interim bail, granted by the Supreme Court, in the case till June 1. PTI
14:34   PM spoke divisively 421 times in poll campaign: Cong
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that he spoke about 'mandir-masjid' and divisive issues 421 times during poll campaigning despite the Election Commission's direction of no appeal for votes on caste and religion.

Addressing a press conference on the last day of campaigning for the seventh and last phase of the Lok Sabha elections, he also said Modi in his speeches of the last 15 days took the Congress's name 232 times, his own name 758 times. "He didn't talk about unemployment even once," Kharge said. "The INDIA bloc will form government with a clear majority and it will give the country an inclusive, nationalistic government," he said. 

 "We are confident that people will give a mandate for an alternative government on June 4," the Congress chief said.

"People have endorsed "our view that if this government gets another chance, it will be end of democracy," he said. 

 Kharge also took a swipe at the prime minister over his comments in an interview that global awareness about Mahatma Gandhi came after Richard Attenborough's film, saying he may not have studied about Gandhi but Mahatma is known the world over. PTI
14:22   3 Lt. Colonels among 16 booked for attempt to murder in Kupwara
A case of attempt to murder and dacoity has been registered against three army lieutenant colonels and 13 others for their alleged involvement in a violent attack on the Kupwara police station, according to the FIR.

 The incident on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday is said to have been triggered by the questioning of a Territorial Army jawan by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in connection with an alleged drug case. 

 A group of armed and uniformed personnel from the 160 Territorial Army, accompanied by senior Indian Army officials, had stormed the police station, as seen in a video. 

 The Territorial Army is a military reserve force composed of part-time volunteers who provide support services to the Indian Army. According to the FIR, the armed group led by lieutenant colonels Ankit Sood, Rajiv Chauhan and Nikhil forcibly entered the premises of the police station.

 They proceeded to launch a brutal assault on police personnel present there, using rifle butts and sticks and kicking them without any provocation, it stated. 

 The situation escalated further as the army personnel brandished their weapons, seized mobile-phones from the injured police officers and even abducted a police constable before fleeing the scene, the FIR stated. The swift response of senior police officers helped rescue the targeted police personnel and initiate legal action against the perpetrators.
14:05   PM should call me if he's so concerned: Patnaik
Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) supremo Naveen Patnaik has dismissed "concerns' expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his health stating that he is "perfectly fine" and has been campaigning in the State for the last month.

This is Chief Minister Patnaik's first detailed interview during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. In the exclusive interview with ANI aired on Thursday, Patnaik, who is seeking a sixth consecutive term in office, sought to downplay PM Modi's remarks on Wednesday in which the latter wondered if there was a conspiracy behind the "failing health' of the BJD leader.

Patnaik said that if the PM was so concerned about his health, he would have called him and inquired about his health instead of stating it loudly at a public meeting.

"If the Prime Minister was so concerned about my health, even recently, he said that I'm a good friend of his; all he needed was to pick up the telephone and inquire about my health instead of stating it loudly at a public meeting three times yesterday. My health is perfectly fine. As you can see, I've been campaigning for the last month all over the state," the Odisha CM said.

"And instead of the Prime Minister just picking up the telephone and asking me about my health, he has stated it loudly at a public meeting. This means that all he's trying to do is garner votes during election time," he said.
13:35   Modi 1st PM to lower dignity of discourse: Manmohan
In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday accused him of lowering the dignity of public discourse and the gravity of the office of the PM by giving "hateful speeches" during the poll campaign. 

 In an appeal to voters of Punjab ahead of the seventh-phase of Lok Sabha polls on June 1, Singh asserted that only the Congress can ensure growth-oriented progressive future where democracy and Constitution will be safeguarded. The senior Congress leader also hit out at the BJP government for imposing an "ill-conceived" Agniveer scheme on the armed forces.

 "The BJP thinks that the value of patriotism, bravery and service is only four years. This shows their fake nationalism," he said in a letter to voters of Punjab. 

 Mounting an attack on Modi, Singh said, "I have been keenly following the political discourse during this election campaign. Modi ji has indulged in the most vicious form of hate speeches, which are purely divisive in nature. Modi ji is the first prime minister to lower the dignity of public discourse, and thereby the gravity of the office of the prime minister. 

 "No prime minister in the past has uttered such hateful, unparliamentary and coarse terms, meant to target either a specific section of the society or the opposition. He has also attributed some false statements to me. I have never in my life singled out one community from the other. That is the sole copyright of the BJP," the former prime minister said. 

 Modi had accused Singh of saying that Muslims have the first right on the country's resources. Singh said people of India are seeing through all of this. "This narrative of dehumanisation has now reached its peak. It is now our duty to save our beloved nation from these forces of discord," Singh said in the letter. PTI
13:25   Chhota Rajan convicted in Mumbai hotelier's murder
A special court in Mumbai on Thursday convicted gangster Chhota Rajan in the case of murder of hotelier Jaya Shetty in 2001. 

Special judge for cases under the Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), AM Patil, held Rajan guilty under the Indian Penal Code provisions for murder. 

The court is likely to decide the quantum of punishment later in the day.  
Click on the invite to enlarge
Click on the invite to enlarge
12:53   Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant wedding on July 12
Anant Ambani and Radhika's Wedding will be held in Mumbai on 12 July at the Jio World Convention Centre in BKC. The wedding will be performed in accordance with the traditional Hindu Vedic way. The main wedding ceremonies will start on Friday, 12th July with the auspicious Shubh Vivah or wedding function. Saturday, 13th July will be the day of Shubh Aashirwad or divine blessings. Sunday, 14th July, will be the Mangal Utsav or the wedding reception. 

 Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant are now in Italy and France for a second pre-wedding bash. More celebs have left for the celebrations. The first bash abroad was held on May 29 and the second one will be held on June 1.

The couple's lavish first pre-wedding celebrations, a three-day fiesta in Jamnagar, in early March, reportedly cost a whopping Rs 1259 crore.
Arvind Kejriwal holds a road show in Punjab
Arvind Kejriwal holds a road show in Punjab
12:32   Kejriwal moves court seeking regular bail
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday moved a court here seeking regular bail in a money laundering case related to the alleged excise scam. Special Judge Kaveri Baweja is likely to take up the matter later in the day. Kejriwal is currently on interim bail, granted by the Supreme Court, till June 1. -- PTI
Rahul Gandhi holds up the Constitution at a rally
Rahul Gandhi holds up the Constitution at a rally
12:09   Dakshin aur uttar mein BJP saaf: Congress
The Congress set the narrative during the Lok Sabha polls with a sharp campaign that was devoid of "agar-magar, kintu parantu" and pushed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the "back foot", senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said on Thursday.

 In an interview with PTI on the last day of campaigning for the seven-phase elections, the Congress general secretary, in-charge communications, claimed that the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will get a clear and decisive majority of the type it got in 2004.

 "After the first two phases, it had become clear to me and I am sure, clear to any unbiased, non-partisan observer, that winds of change are blowing. 'Dakshin mein BJP saaf, uttar mein BJP half' (wiped out in the south and reduced to half in the north)," Ramesh said. 

 As the campaigning draws to a close, Ramesh said the first shot at creating a new narrative for the Congress was fired by Rahul Gandhi in the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

 The yatra was held between September 2022 and January 2023. The 144 days, 4,000-km walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir was a very transformative movement for the Congress and for Indian politics, he said. 

 "He (Gandhi) constantly saying that 'main nafrat ke bazaar mein mohabbat ki dukaan kholne aaya hu' was the theme. What gave structure to the 2024 campaign was the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra (this year) in which Gandhi had unveiled the 'paanch nyay pachchees guarantee'," Ramesh said.

 He said the Congress's 'guarantee cards', which state the party's promises under the 'Yuva Nyay, Kisaan Nyay, Nari Nyay, Shramik Nyay and the Hissedaari Nyay' themes, have reached almost seven crore households in the country. -- PTI
Anshul Avijit Kushwaha. Pic: Rajesh Karkera
Anshul Avijit Kushwaha. Pic: Rajesh Karkera
11:47   'BJP takes electorate for granted in its arrogance'
Cambridge-educated Anshul Avijit Kushwaha is fighting his first election as a Congress party candidate from the Patna Saheb constituency. The grandson of Babu Jagjivan Ram speaks to  Archana Masih, Rajesh Karkera and Nikhil Lakshman. Watch the interview on here. 
File pic
File pic
11:38   Monsoon sets in over Kerala and northeast
Spurred by cyclone Remal, the southwest monsoon set in over the Kerala coast and parts of the northeast on Thursday, a day ahead of the date forecast by the weather office. 

Weather scientists said that the cyclone, which ripped through West Bengal and Bangladesh on Sunday, had pulled the monsoonal flow to the Bay of Bengal, which could be one of the reasons for early onset over the northeast.

"Southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala and advanced into most parts of northeast India today, the 30th May, 2024," the India Meteorological Department said. On May 15, the weather office had announced the onset of monsoon over Kerala by May 31. Kerala has been receiving heavy rains for the past few days resulting in a surplus May rainfall, the weather office data showed. 

 The normal monsoon onset date for Kerala is June 1 and for Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Assam is June 5. 

 The IMD declares onset of monsoon over Kerala if anytime after May 10 over 14 stations there and neighbouring areas receive 2.5 mm or more rainfall for two consecutive days, the Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) is low, and the direction of the winds is southwesterly.

 El Nino conditions are prevailing at present, and La Nina may set in by August-September, scientists said.
New York governor Kathy Hochul
New York governor Kathy Hochul
11:21   NY promises mega security for Indo-Pak clash
New York's Nassau County will have unprecedented security arrangements in place for the T20 World Cup clash between India and Pakistan on June 9 due to the threat of a terror attack in New York even though state Governor Kathy Hochul insisted that it is not credible "at this time." 

 The Eisenhower Park Stadium at the Nassau County will host eight matches of the tournament-proper, including India's three outings. The Indians will also play a practice game against Bangladesh here on June 1. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul said she has directed state police to elevate security measures to ensure safety of the crowds. 

 "In preparation for the World Cup my team has been working with federal & local law enforcement to keep attendees safe. While there is no credible threat at this time, I've directed @nyspolice (NYPD) to elevate security measures & we'll continue to monitor as the event nears," Hochul said in a post on X. A report on CNN said that New York officials are putting safety precautions in place "after terror group ISIS-K made a global threat earlier this year" against the World Cup.

 Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said on Wednesday that the event received an ISIS-K-linked threat in April.

 "That was followed by more specific threats on the India versus Pakistan game, scheduled for June 9, and references to a viral video circulating online, which calls for 'that lone wolf to act out'," the report said. 

 "I can guarantee you this. This is the largest security we've ever had to do in this county's history, and I can also guarantee you this the safest place to be in Nassau County on June 9th will be inside that stadium," Ryder said in that report. 

 Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said described the mega-event, which is likely to draw massive crowds from among the expats, as "Super Bowl on steroids".
N Korea dictator Kim Jong Un
N Korea dictator Kim Jong Un
11:03   Did you know N Korea sent poop-filled balloons to S Korea?
North Korea has fired a clutch of short-range ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan on Thursday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, citing the country's military. 

 This follows a day after Pyongyang sent hundreds of large thrash and manure filled balloons into South Korea and days after a military spy satellite rocket launch by Pyongyang did not succeed. 

 The South Korean military also said today that it has detected attempts by North Korea to jam GPS signals for a second straight day. 

 Meanwhile, the United States has called on North Korea to stop "further unlawful and destabilizing acts," after the latest launch of ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), about 10 projectiles were launched around 6:14 a.m. from the Sunan area of Pyongyang and were estimated to have flown about 350 kilometers before falling into the sea, Yonhap reported. 

 The JCS told reporters that South Korean military has "strengthened monitoring and vigilance" against additional launches and shared information with US and Japanese authorities. The US Indo-Pacific Command said it was consulting closely with South Korea, Japan and other regional allies and partners.
Kangana with PM Modi
Kangana with PM Modi
10:44   Kangana will return to films: Cong's Vikramaditya
Congress leader and candidate from Mandi, Vikramaditya Singh, hit out at actor-tuned politician and BJP leader Kangana Ranaut, asserting that she has no dedication or understanding about the issues of Himachal Pradesh.

"There are 14 lakh daughters in Himachal Pradesh. So many of them studied and became IAS, IFS, etc. Some of them are into sports as well, and this lady (Kangana Ranaut) is also one of them. But when it comes to Himachal, she has no connection to Himachal's issues, understanding, or history; she has no dedication or understanding about the issues," Singh told ANI on Wednesday.

Hitting out at Kangana Ranaut, the Congress leader said, "She also doesn't have time, does she have a roadmap? If you have a roadmap, to fulfil it, you will have to go to the ministry, meet officials, and observe the situation. But she says that she will go back to Mumbai after June 4 as her films are pending. This is not a 9-to-5 job."

Earlier, Singh also took a swipe at Kangana Ranaut and said that with her statements, Kangana is giving good competition to comedian Kapil Sharma.

Speaking to ANI, Singh said, "I have just asked tough questions from her (Kangana Ranaut), but she always tries to escape from them alleging that we are anti-women. Her time of entertainment is now completed in Himachal Pradesh. She had given enough statements that people couldn't stop laughing after listening."

"She is giving good competition to comedian Kapil Sharma. I think she should go back to Mumbai after June 4 and do films or else she can start a comedy show with Kangana Ranaut," he added. -- ANI
10:27   Frenchman jailed after attending Dalit protest In UP
A French documentary maker, who spent 30 minutes at a Dalit protest for land rights in Gorakhpur on 10 October 2023 while researching for a film on Dalit women, spent a month in jail after the Uttar Pradesh police accused him of violating visa conditions by attending the event. Valentin Jean Roger Henault said his French identity was criminalised and used by the media to raise allegations of 'foreign funding' without any basis.

Read the report here. 
10:24   Hand of God
Visual of a lightning strike at the Manohar International Airport in Goa. The strike caused damage to the runway edge lights on May 22 at around 5.15 pm. Six flights were diverted. Damaged lights were rectified to bring the airport operations to normalcy within two hours.
Anushka Sharma choose a Benarasi sari for her wedding
Anushka Sharma choose a Benarasi sari for her wedding
10:19   Govt policies bring fabled Benarasi sari hub to its knees
THE PM'S CONSTITUENCY: If you wish to hear what a death rattle sounds like, come to the loom labyrinth of Pilikothi in Varanasi. Seven out of 10 looms -- both hand and power-driven --  have become cold iron carcasses; the rest work no more than a few hours a day and produce way below capacity.

Read Sankarshan Thakur's report here. 
A monkey quenches its thirst in Gurugram
A monkey quenches its thirst in Gurugram
10:15   Delhi govt to hold emergency meeting on water crisis
The Delhi government will on Thursday hold an emergency meeting regarding the water crisis that the city is facing amid a prevailing heatwave, officials said.

The national capital is facing water shortage due to unprecedented summer heat with temperatures hovering around the 50 degrees Celsius mark in parts of the city. 

 The meeting, to be held at noon, will be attended by Water Minister Atishi, Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj, the chief secretary and other senior officers, they said. Atishi has alleged shortage in water supply due to the share of Delhi in Yamuna being stopped by Haryana. 

 The city government on Wednesday imposed a fine of Rs 2000 on wastage of water and formed 200 teams to enforce the penalty. It has also taken measures like running tubewells in double shifts and using water tankers to supply water in affected areas due to the shortage. PTI
10:11   Law must take its own course: Tharoor on Customs detaining former aide
After Delhi Customs detained two people, one of whom claimed to be the personal assistant to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in a case of alleged gold smuggling, the Congress leader distanced himself from any alleged wrongdoing on Thursday and said that the law must take its own course.

 Tharoor, in a post on X, said that the detained person is a former member of his staff who has been rendering part-time service to him. He also extended his support to the authorities in their efforts to take any necessary action.

 "While I am in Dharamshala for campaigning purposes, I was shocked to hear of an incident involving a former member of my staff who has been rendering part-time service to me in terms of airport facilitation assistance. He is a 72 year old retiree undergoing frequent dialysis and was retained on a part-time basis on compassionate grounds," the Congress MP posted on X. 

 "I do not condone any alleged wrongdoing and fully support the authorities in their efforts to take any necessary action that may be required to investigate the matter. The law must take its own course," he added.
An India bloc meeting. File pic
An India bloc meeting. File pic
09:59   INDIA bloc to pick PM in 48 hrs from...: Cong
The INDIA bloc will get a "decisive mandate" in the Lok Sabha polls and may take even less than 48 hours to decide on its prime ministerial pick, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said on Thursday, asserting that it stands to reason that the party which gets the maximum seats in the alliance will be a "natural claimant" for its leadership. 

 In an interview with PTI on the last day of campaigning for the seven-phase Lok Sabha polls, the Congress general secretary exuded confidence that the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) will get seats "well above" the 272-mark needed for a majority in the Lower House.

 Ramesh also said that when the INDIA 'janbandhan' parties will get the people's mandate, then some NDA parties may join the coalition and the Congress high command will have to decide whether to include them in the alliance or not. 

 Asked whether post-polls doors will remain open for NDA allies such as JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu, the Congress leader said, "Nitish Kumar is the master of 'palti (volte-face)'.

 "Naidu was with the Congress in alliance in 2019. I would say when INDIA janbandhan parties will get the people's mandate, then not only INDIA parties but also some NDA parties may join the coalition," he said.

 "The high command of the Congress, Kharge ji, Rahul ji, Sonia ji, will have to decide whether to include them in the INDIA bloc," he said.

 Ramesh said the difference between INDIA and NDA is of two I's -- I for 'insaniyat' and 'I' for 'imaandaari'. "Those parties that have 'imaandaari (honesty)' and 'insaniyat (humanity)', but are in the NDA, will join the INDIA parties," he said. Ramesh said an INDIA bloc government formed after getting the mandate from the people will be "authoritative" but not "authoritarian".

 "I think we are going to be large-hearted in victory -- no politics of vendetta, no politics of vengeance. Interestingly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to the famed Vivekananda Rock Memorial and be meditative for two days. The same Vivekananda memorial from where Mr Rahul Gandhi started the Bharat Jodo Yatra on September 7, 2022....I am sure he (Modi) is going to be meditating on what life is going to be after retirement," he said. 

 Asked about his assessment of the political situation on the ground after six phases of polls, Ramesh said, "I don't want to get into numbers but all I am saying is that we (INDIA bloc) will get a clear and decisive majority. 273 is a clear majority but it is not decisive. When I say clear and decisive, I mean well above 272 seats." 

 He claimed the 2004 result when the Congress won the polls to form an alliance government despite the BJP's 'India shining' campaign, will repeat itself in 2024. Ramesh also claimed that the Congress will make "handsome gains" in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana and Maharashtra. "We will improve our position in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. In totality, we are headed for a 2004 type of a situation, 'bees saal baad'," he said. 

 Ramesh said that in Uttar Pradesh also the Congress will make gains and the BJP cannot improve on its 2019 tally of 62. 

 "They are not going to improve on 39 seats in Bihar, it is impossible, they are not going to improve on 18 seats in West Bengal, that is impossible," he said. Asked about the reported June 1 meeting of INDIA bloc partners, Ramesh said he does not have any authentic information that the meeting is going to take place that day but the INDIA bloc leaders will certainly meet. -- PTI
The wait for rain clouds
The wait for rain clouds
09:35   Will take 10 days to reach Maha after monsoon hits Kerala: IMD
Director of India Meteorological Department, Mumbai, Sunil Kamble said the monsoon will take eight to ten days to cover Maharashtra after arriving in Kerala. Sunil Kamble said that the monsoon is expected to reach Kerala in the next 24 hours. 

 "If you talk about Mumbai, the temperature range of Mumbai is 35-36 degrees centigrade. And for the summer season, these are quite normal temperatures. But because of the high humidity, like 80% to 90% humidity is there. That's why even at 35 percent-36 percent centigrade, we are getting the feel of 40 degrees. And if you look in and around Maharashtra, the temperature range is between 38 percent and 40 percent centigrade...," he told ANI. 

 "The normal date of the onset of monsoon over Kerala is June 1. But we are expecting an advanced monsoon, and within 24 hours, we are expecting the monsoon to reach Kerala. Once the monsoon arrives in Kerala, it takes eight to ten days to cover Maharashtra, especially Mumbai..," Kamble added. 

 He said that the IMD has already issued a long-range forecast. "This season we will have more rainfall than normal." In 2023, rainfall over the country as a whole during monsoon season (June-September), was 94 per cent of its long-period average. -- PTI
09:30   Like Mungeri Lal, Rahul can dream till June 4: BJP
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis, on Wednesday, made a jibe at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and regarded his claim of INDIA alliance forming government in the centre after June 4 as 'Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne'. 

 Furthermore, he also expressed his confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party would form the government in the centre.

 Addressing the media persons in Varanasi and reacting to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's claims of the INDIA bloc forming government on June 4, the BJP leader said, "...When I was a child, there was a serial named 'Mungeri Lal Ke Haseen Sapne'. Like Mungeri Lal, Rahul Gandhi also has the right to dream. In his dreams, he can imagine himself as the Prime Minister of India or even the President of America. He can dream all of this till June 4, as nobody is stopping him from dreaming."

Fadnavis further asserted, "People have chosen 'Gangaputra Modi Ji' for themselves. They have decided to side with Modi Ji." -- ANI
VK Pandian with Naveen Patnaik
VK Pandian with Naveen Patnaik
09:24   Only 1 person allowed in Naveen Patnaik's home: BJP
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan raised serious concerns about the condition and treatment of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, stating that access to his residence, Naveen Niwas, is heavily restricted.

Pradhan claimed that only one person is allowed to enter Naveen Niwas, describing the restrictions as extreme.

"As per my information, no one is allowed to enter Naveen Niwas except one person (VK Pandian). Not even a leaf can move without his permission. There is no telephone in his room, nor is there any Odia channel in his room. I say with responsibility that the Odia employee at Naveen Niwas himself is saying that, 'What condition has been made of the Chief Minister of Odisha?'" Pradhan said.

Pradhan assured that changes are imminent, stating, "Nothing to fear, on June 10, BJP government will be formed. PM Modi has said that a committee will be formed and within a year it will be assessed as to who is responsible for the health of Naveen Babu."

Pradhan further criticized the treatment of Patnaik, mentioning public incidents.

"Publicly, sometimes kicking his feet in public, forcibly holding his hand. Did the Prime Minister say anything wrong? And within a year, all the troubles that have happened to him (the Chief Minister of Odisha) will be investigated," Pradhan said.

These remarks follow a viral video showing the Chief Minister's close aide and BJD leader VK Pandian grabbing Patnaik's trembling hand during an election rally, prompting speculation and concern about Patnaik's health.
Ben Kingsley as the Mahatma and Rohini Hattangadi as Kasturba in the film
Ben Kingsley as the Mahatma and Rohini Hattangadi as Kasturba in the film
09:01   Govt of India had financed the film, Gandhi
And an interesting post by senior journalist and columnist Vir Sanghvi on the Mahatma issue. He writes, "Since much is being made of the Gandhi movie we should give Indira Gandhi due credit. Richard Attenborough had been trying unsuccessfully to make the movie for years. It only got made because Mrs G said the Indian govt would finance it. It was a hit. The govt got its money back."
08:58   'Modi is totally ignorant about Mahatma Gandhi'
"He (Modi) wants to make people believe that if he was not there, Mahatma Gandhi would have been an unknown person," Tushar Gandhi, the Mahatma's great grandson, tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf/

Read the interview here. 
The obliteration of Gaza
The obliteration of Gaza
08:49   US pier breaks up off Gaza coast, aid stops
The US suspended deliveries of humanitarian aid through its pier off the coast of Gaza when the USD 320 million structure broke up in rough weather, the Pentagon confirmed. 

 "As of today, one of the Army vessels that was beached on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon has been recovered. The second vessel that was also beached near Ashkelon will be recovered in the next 24 hours, and the remaining two vessels that were beached near the Trident pier are expected to be recovered in the next 48 hours," Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh told reporters. 

"I think, unfortunately, we had a perfect storm of high sea states and ... this North African weather system also came in at the same time, creating not an optimal environment" for the pier, she explained. 

Singh said the Navy would remove the pier from its anchored position and tow it to Ashdod for repairs. American personnel are not authorized to set foot in Gaza. More than 1,000 metric tons of aid were delivered through the pier during the two weeks it was operational, Singh said.
08:12   Israel takes full control of Gaza-Egypt border
The Israel Defence Forces said on Wednesday it was in full 'operational control' of the entire Gaza-Egypt border and has so far located 20 tunnels leading into the Egyptian Sinai.

The 14 km strip of land along the border is known as the Philadelphi corridor, a buffer zone created to prevent weapons smuggling in 2006 after Israel disengaged from the Strip.

But in 2007, Hamas violently seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority.

The army said troops were physically present in most of the corridor, except for a portion of near the Mediterranean coast which is controlled by surveillance and firepower.

The army said it was aware of the presence of some of the cross-border tunnels. Another 82 shafts within the corridor area that did not cross the border were also discovered and will be destroyed.The IDF reportedly found dozens of rocket launchers placed by Hamas along the border, a politically sensitive area.

The border is technically a demilitarized zone under the terms of the Camp David Accords signed in 1978.Israel took control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and most of the border on May 7.

At least 1,200 people were killed, and 252 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas's attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Of the 125 remaining hostages, 39 are believed dead. -- ANI
01:15   Seven-year-old girl drowns in resort swimming pool in Maha's Palghar
A seven-year-old girl from Mumbai drowned in a swimming pool of a resort at Rangaon in Palghar district, the police said. 

The deceased girl, a resident of Bhandup area, visited the resort with her grandmother. 

"She enjoyed swimming with 14 others. Later, her grandmother and others went for lunch at around 1 PM, but the girl stayed in the water without knowledge of others."  

"When she struggled to stay afloat, she raised an alarm, following which she was pulled out of water and rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared her dead," the official said. 

He said the girl managed to stay in the water as coaches and trainers had gone for lunch. 

Notably, this is the second such incident in Rangaon area of Vasai. In the previous incident, police registered an FIR under section 304 A (Causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code against the resort management. -- PTI
File image
File image
01:02   16 cars gutted in east Delhi, 5 shops damaged in Chandni Chowk blaze
Sixteen cars were gutted by a fire that broke out at a civic authority-run parking lot in east Delhi's Madhu Vihar area on Wednesday, officials said. 

No one was injured in the incident. 

More than 100 cars were parked in the facility, but timely action by the police and fire department saved the rest of the vehicles, deputy commissioner of police (east) Apoorva Gupta said. 

The incident was reported at 1.17 am. 

Nine fire tenders were pressed into service and they controlled the blaze in four hours, an official from Delhi Fire Service said. 

A case has been registered in the incident and investigations are underway, police said. 

The cars belonged to the locals who used to park their vehicles in the parking lot on rent basis, the officials said. 

Earlier, the officials said that 17 cars were gutted but Madhu Vihar SHO Rajesh Sinha later confirmed that 16 vehicles were damaged in the fire. 

"Some vehicles were damaged but we managed to save the rest. There were no injuries in the incident," DFS officer Yashwant Meena said. -- PTI
File image
File image
00:46   Thousands affected by floods after rains in Manipur
Thousands of people were affected by floods triggered by heavy rains in Manipur's Imphal Valley, officials said on Wednesday. 

The overflowing Imphal river inundated several areas, with water entering hundreds of houses, as a result, people took shelter at nearby community halls, they said. 

Flooding was reported from at least 86 areas in Imphal West district, including Khuman Lampak, Nagaram, Sagolband, Uripok, Keisamthong and Paona areas due to the overflowing Nambul river, they added. 

"Due to incessant rainfall, the bank of Imphal river has been breached near Keirang, Khabam and Lairiyengbam Leikai areas in Imphal East district and water gushed into several areas, inundating hundreds of houses."

"Several areas in Heingang and Khurai assembly constituencies in Imphal East district have been badly affected, with floodwater at chest level in many parts," an official said. -- PTI