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Delhi

Modi not 'chowkidar' but 'bhagidar', launches 'jumla' strikes: Rahul

 
Rahul Gandhi calls Modi's promises 'jumla strikes'
 
 
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the debate on no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha, accusing him of launching "jumla strikes", being a "bhagidaar and not chowkidar" and said he had been benefiting his "industralist friends" while ignoring the youth, farmers, Dalits and women.
 
After participating in the debate, Gandhi sprung a surprise by walking up to Modi and hugging him after accusing him of "acting out of anger which the whole country was experiencing." 
 
Gandhi said Modi and BJP President Amit Shah act out of fear and cannot afford to lose power "because the moment they lose power, other processes will start against them" but asserted that opposition parties will defeat BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. 
 
The Congress chief, who spoke for around 45 minutes, said he was very respectful to the BJP and its ideological patron for teaching him the meaning of Congress and being a Hindu and said while they could be angry and call him "Pappu" but he will remove this feeling from them and turn them towards the Congress.
 
He sought to tear into the BJP's poll plank of national security and said Modi had been "untruthful" on the Rafale fighter jet deal and had "betrayed the soldiers" by not raising the Doklam stand off with China during his visit for an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 
 
Referring to TDP member Jayadev Galla, who spoke before him, Gandhi said his party was victim of a political weapon called "jumla strike".
 
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"First a great sense of happiness, excitement, then a feeling of shock, then eight-hour long speech. The victims are farmers, youth, Dalits, tribals and women," he said.
 
Gandhi, whose speech was repeatedly interrupted by BJP members, said Galla had rightly noted that words of the Prime Minister should carry weight. 
 
Throwing repeated barbs at Modi who sometimes smiled, the Congress leader said the Prime Minister had given people "jumlas" by promising Rs 15 lakh in account of people and generating two crore jobs every year. 
 
He also targeted the government over demonetisation and said Congress wanted that there should be one GST rate and petroleum products should be covered in it. 
 
He said Modi had called himself "chowkidar of the country" but he was silent when there was 16,000 time rise in the turnover of a company linked to Amit Shah's son. 
 
Gandhi, who spoke forcefully but with ease, said India is not being able to protect its women for the first time in its history and its reputation was being besmirched.
 
"There are atrocities against Dalits, minorities and adivasis. People are being killed, beaten up, lynched, exploited, but PM doesn't speak a word. Their minister goes and garlands them (the convicts).
 
IANS
 
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Rahul's hugplomacy after tearing into government surprises Modi

After tearing into the BJP-led government in his speech during the debate on the no-confidence motion on Friday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi walked across to the ruling benches and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, taking everyone in the Lok Sabha by surprise.

 
Rahul Gandhi ends his speech by hugging Modi in LS
 
 
After tearing into the BJP-led government in his speech during the debate on the no-confidence motion on Friday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi walked across to the ruling benches and hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, taking everyone in the Lok Sabha by surprise.
 
"I have not an iota of hatred or hard feelings against you. You hate me. You may call me Pappu, you can use a stream of expletives for me. But I don't hate you or have even slightest of anger for you. I am the Congress," Gandhi said at the end of his nearly 40-minute fiery speech.
 
Gandhi accused Modi of lying to the nation and making empty rhetoric "jumlas" to deceive the poor of the country. He also lashed out at the government and questioned Modi's silence over women not feeling safe in the country and people from the minority communities being lynched.
 
Gandhi said the Prime Minister and BJP President Amit Shah were different type of politicians unlike those from the Congress.
 
"We are okay with winning and losing, staying in and out of power. But they cannot afford to lose power. They fear losing power. It is this fear that is turning into anger... But I will turn this anger into love because I am the Congress," he said.
 
Resuming his speech after a brief adjournment, Gandhi said some opposition MPs congratulated him for speaking "really well'.
 
"I was surprised when your own members shook my hand and said, 'you spoke really well'. This voice is also there within you. This voice doesn't exist just within us. This Akali Dal leader (pointing towards Harsimrat Kaur) was looking at me and smiling. This feeling is there in the entire country. Our job is to connect these feelings.
 
"The entire opposition and a few people among you..together we are going to defeat the Prime Minister in the election. 
 
"You may think there is anger, hatred in my heart for the prime minister. But, I want to say this from the bottom of my heart that I am very grateful to the Prime Minister, the BJP and the RSS. They made me understand the meaning of the Congress. They taught me the meaning of being a Hindustani.
 
"Hindustani means - one may say or do anything against you, one may tell a lie or abuse you or use a lathi against you, but you will show love towards them. Narendra Modi, the BJP and the RSS have taught me this. I would like thank you for this from the bottom of my heart.
 
"You taught me my religion, made me understand the meaning of Shivji, you made me understand the meaning of being a Hindu. I want to thank you for this.
 
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"This is the history of our country. You may have hatred and anger towards me. The Congress and this very feeling has built this nation. Don't forget this. This feeling is there within all of you, and I will bring it out from all of you. I will bring out that love that is there within you and I will turn all of you into the Congress."
 
Gandhi then walked across to the ruling benches and hugged Modi who was taken by surprise. The Congress leader was heard telling the Prime Minister to get up and allow him to do "pranaam" to him.
 
The Prime Minister was taken aback at first and gestured as if asking Gandhi why he was there. But the Congress President bent over, threw his arms around Modi and hugged him tight.
 
A visibly nonplussed Modi hugged him back. After recovering from an apparent shock moment, the Prime Minister called Gandhi back towards him and the two shook their hands. He patted Gandhi on his back and exchanged a word or two with him, smilingly.
 
As the opposition members gave Gandhi a standing ovation and thumped their desks, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said such conduct was against the rules of the House.
 
Shiromani Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal questioned Gandhi for saying she was smiling at him when he was speaking. "This is Parliament and not a 'pappi jhappi' area of Munna Bhai," she said, mocking at him.
 
Speaker Mahajan said but "you were smiling" when Gandhi was speaking. There was a burst of laughter in the House. 
 
By this time Gandhi had returned to his seat amid a loud cheer from his Congress colleagues. He was seen winking at Jyotiraditya Scindia, a Congress MP from Madhya Pradesh.
 
IANS
 
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All-India truck, bus strike paralyses transportation

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Transportation services across the country were severely impacted on Friday as private bus and truck operators began an indefinite strike to press for their various demands, including a reduction in diesel prices.
 
According to the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), transportation services to and from ports, refineries and industrial units have been stopped. 
 
"After the inconclusive talks with Nitin Gadkari (Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways) and Piyush Goyal (Union Minister for Finance), the transport fraternity of India proceeded with indefinite suspension of transport operations nationwide," AIMTC Secretary General Naveen Kumar Gupta told IANS.
 
The industry has demanded that diesel be brought under the ambit of GST and tax structures like the e-way bill should be simplified.
 
At present, the main transport fuel -- diesel -- constitutes nearly 60 per cent of the overall operations cost of the industry. 
 
The strike is expected to hike the prices of essential commodities and impact inter-state travel. 
 
As per an AIMTC statement: "Processions, protest rallies, meetings, sit-in dharnas marked" the first day of nationwide strike.
 
"The angst and the frustration of the truckers and the transporters of India poured out due to non resolution of the issues of the trade in a concrete manner."
 
The AIMTC pointed out that there was total bandh in Maharashtra, Gujarat, entire South India, Uttralchand, Chattisgarh, Odhisa, Chandigarh, UP, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
"The movement will get intensified in days to come," the statement added.
 
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An office-bearer of All Indian Transporters' Welfare Association (AITWA) said that "the 'chakka jam' (strike) call by the All India Motor Congress has evoked a massive response" as the issues raised affect the main stakeholders -- the truck-bus operators.
 
A large number of transporters led by Bombay Goods Transport Association (BGTA) committee member Deepak Verma also started an indefinite sit-in (dharna) protest at Azaid Maidan in Mumbai.
 
The prime demands of the AITWA include -- a reduction in prices of diesel by bringing it under goods and services tax (GST), six-monthly revision of fuel prices instead of the existing daily fluctuations, abolishing toll tax at all road toll posts in the country.
 
"We have already informed the government to scrap toll tax totally since the waiting period at toll posts results in massive losses by way of fuel and other overheads. The AITWA has said the government can collect the entire toll tax burden from us in advance annually but there is no response," said the AITWA official.
 
Additionally, the transporters are upset about the high insurance premia, reduction in third-party premia and exempting it from GST, exemptions in certain other direct taxes, permit system overhaul and others.
 
IANS
 
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Pavement outside Greater Kailash metro station in Delhi caves in

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A portion of a pavement outside the Greater Kailash (GK) station on the Delhi Metro network caved in early this morning due to accumulation of water after heavy rainfall.
 
"GK is a low lying area having regular drainage issues. Repair work of the caved in portion is in progress and the affected area will be completely restored by tomorrow morning," a press release from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said.
 
"However, Metro services are running normally on the Botanical Garden – Janakpuri West Magenta Line.
 
"The DMRC is now filling below the road with additional concrete to avoid the recurrence of this problem in future," the release added.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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No-trust debate: TDP says it is war between morality, majority

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The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a former NDA ally and prime mover of the no-confidence motion against the BJP-led ruling alliance, on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "deceiving" the people of Andhra Pradesh by not giving it the promised special category status, saying it was fighting a war between "morality and majority."
 
Initiating the debate on the motion in the Lok Sabha, TDP member Jayadev Galla said the residual state had been denied justice since the "unscientific bifurcation" of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. 
 
Galla, who was speaking on behalf of his colleague Kesineni Srinavas whose notice of no-confidence motion was accepted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, thanked Opposition parties, including Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI-M and AIMIM, for supporting the motion. 
 
Galla said the people of Andhra Pradesh were tired of unfulfilled promises, and that the motion provided a litmus test for Parliament to fulfill the promises made. 
 
Galla began his speech by stating that it was for the first time that a first-time MP has got a chance to move a motion of no-confidence.
 
He said seeking justice for the people of the state was a "dharma yudha." Galla said BJP President Amit Shah had told party leaders from Andhra Pradesh in March to wage a war on TDP.
 
"It is now war between BJP and TDP. It is a war between majority and morality, It is a war between the Modi regime and 5 crore people of Andhra Pradesh.
 
"It is a war against discrimination showed by the Modi regime towards AP, it is a war to honour the assurances made by PM in Parliament, it is a war between authoritarian Machiavellian attitude of the Modi regime and the rights of states that make up the federal Republic of India. It is a Dharma Yudh," Galla said. 
 
Galla, who is MP from Guntur, said the people were tired of the empty assurances and unfulfilled commitments. 
 
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Reeling out statistics, Galla forcefully articulated the party's stance, saying the last four years have posed tremendous challenges for the "new state with an old name". 
 
"It is not prudent to say that the issues of Andhra Pradesh are not national issues. It is also an emotional issue for people of the state," he said. 
 
"We need relief, but the Modi government is posing new challenges for us. Andhra Pradesh is also languishing in services," he said. 
 
Galla, who faced some disruptions during his speech from Telangana Rashtra Samiti members, said that the promise of special category state for five years to the residual state of Andhra Pradesh was given by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha in 2014. 
 
"Do you have any respect for commitment made by your predecessor?" he asked Modi. 
 
He referred to Modi's election speeches in Andhra Pradesh in the run-up to 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when TDP was aligned with BJP, and said the BJP leader had asked people if they wanted to vote for a clean, corruption-free Andhra Pradesh "by voting for us or choose to go for the rival opposition party and push Andhra Pradesh into corruption."
 
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom we trusted so dearly, has deceived the state," he said. 
 
"Modi while campaigning in Andhra Pradesh had said 'Congress killed the mother and saved the child'. Had I been there, I would have saved the mother too'. People of Andhra Pradesh have waited for four long years for him to save their mother," he added. 
 
Galla accused the BJP of changing its stance on the special category status. "It will be decimated in Andhra Pradesh the way Congress was, if the people of Andhra Pradesh are cheated. Mr PM, it's not a threat, it's a 'shraap (curse),"' he said. 
 
TDP had pulled out of the Modi government and NDA earlier this year over its demand for special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
 
IANS
 
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BJD walks out as LS begins debate on no trust motion against Modi government

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) members walked out of the Lok Sabha on Friday as the House began a debate on a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition against Prime Minister Narendra Modis government.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) members walked out of the Lok Sabha on Friday as the House began a debate on a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition against Prime Minister Narendra Modis government.
 
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the discussion on the no-trust motion would continue for the entire day and the vote would take place at 6 p.m.
 
She said the House would also skip lunch. 
 
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge sought more time from the Speaker saying 38 minutes allotted for his party leaders to address the Lok Sabha was not enough. 
 
He also sought more time for the members of Trinamool Congress, Left parties and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
 
"This is a very important motion. The country is watching us to know what we have to say and how the government is going to respond. Don't limit the time. There are precedents when no-confidence motions have been debated for two, three or even five days. Therefore if you sum up in five hours, it is not justified," Kharge said.
 
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar responded, saying Kharge is a senior leader but needed to understand that "in one-day cricket era, there was no need to play a test cricket match for five days".
 
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The BJD, which has 19 members in the Lok Sabha after the resignation of Kendrapara MP Baijyant Jay Panda, then walked out.
 
Its leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said injustice had been done to Odisha in the last 14 years and the BJP government at the Centre has failed to safeguard the interests of the state.
 
"In the last 14 years, the BJD has witnessed that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for 10 years and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for four years have done injustice with Odisha. And this discussion is not going to help Odisha. So we are not going to participate," Mahtab said.
 
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), an estranged ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government, moved the no-confidence motion on Wednesday, which was admitted by Mahajan.
 
The no-confidence motion has the support of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Samajwadi Party (SP), and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
 
The ruling NDA, however, enjoys a comfortable majority in the House. The BJP which leads the ruling combine has 273 members in the House that has an effective strength of 533, excluding the Speaker.
 
IANS
 
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WhatsApp to limit message forwarding to 5 chats in India

Under pressure from the Government of India to check the dissemination of fake news and provocative content, private messaging app Whatsapp today said it was launching a test to limit forwarding of chats that will apply to everyone using the platform owned by social media giant Facebook.
 
"In India - where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world - we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once and we'll remove the quick forward button next to media messages," a blog post by WhatsApp said.
 
"We built WhatsApp as a private messaging app - a simple, secure, and reliable way to communicate with friends and family. And as we've added new features, we've been careful to try and keep that feeling of intimacy, which people say they love.
 
"A few years back we added a feature to WhatsApp that lets you forward a message to multiple chats at once," the post said.
 
"We believe that these changes - which we'll continue to evaluate - will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app.
 
"We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we'll continue to improve our app with features like this one," the post added.
 
The Government has stepped up pressure on social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter to come up with effective solutions to the problem of the spead of fake news and provocative content following a spate of killings around the country following the rapid spread of rumours that they were child lifters on WhatsApp chat groups.
 
In its initial response to the Government's concerns over the misuse of its platform, WhatsApp had said that it was "horrified by the terrible acts of violence".
 
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has been asking social media platforms to take immediate action to ensure they were not used for malafide activities.
 
WhatsApp had also said that this was a challenge that required government, civil society and technology companies to work together.
 
The platform, which has more than 200 million monthly active users in India, has taken various measures to check the menace.
 
For instance, it now indicates to a user which messages they receive have been forwarded to them.
 
"This extra context will help make one-on-one and group chats easier to follow. It also helps you determine if your friend or relative wrote the message they sent or if it originally came from someone else. To see this new forwarded label, you need to have the latest supported version of WhatsApp on your phone," it had said in an earlier blog post.
 
"WhatsApp cares deeply about your safety. We encourage you to think before sharing messages that were forwarded. As a reminder, you can report spam or block a contact in one tap and can always reach out to WhatsApp directly for help," it had said.
 
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Rainy Friday morning in Delhi

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It was a rainy Friday morning in the national capital with the minimum temperature recorded at 27.2 degrees Celsius, the season's average, said the Met Office.
 
"The sky will remain mostly cloudy with chances of rainfall throughout the day in the National Capital Region (NCR)," an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.
 
The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 36 degrees Celsius. The humidity at 8.30 a.m. was 91 per cent.
 
Thursday's maximum temperature settled at 37.8 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season's average, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 28.2 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season's average.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Kovind meets Directors of 59 Central institutes of higher learning

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Rashtrapati Bhavan hosted a one-day meeting of directors of 59 Central institutes of higher learning in the fields of information technology, engineering science and technology, and planning and architecture here on Thursday.
 
The meeting was part of regular interactions by President Ram Nath Kovind with such institutions in his capacity as Visitor to 146 Central Universities and institutions of higher learning.
 
Speaking at the concluding session, the President said the NIT system has been able to provide high-quality technical education to talented students across the country. This network of institutes has taken the opportunity of engineering education to remote corners. NITs were critical to promoting technical education and research.
 
The President said information technology has a pivotal role in today’s world. “Our Institutes of Information Technology strive to create a unique meeting ground for the two fields of information technology and of management. They contribute significantly to research, teaching and extension work for the integrated application of information technology and management. In an age when IT is critical to almost all our endeavours, this is extremely valuable,” he added.
 
The heads of these institutes have been gifted with the opportunity to shape the future of the youth of our country. Their work directly affects not only the future of their graduates but also the future of India. The young graduates from their institutes will be the torch-bearers of their generation. By giving them the right knowledge, the right values and the right ethics, the institutes are doing a service to the society, he added.
 
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Modi government forcing AgustaWestland middleman to frame Sonia: Congress

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The Congress on Thursday accused the Modi government of forcing alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper scandal, Christian Michel, to frame UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in return for complete exoneration from any charge.
 
It also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using investigative agencies to carry out a smear campaign against opposition leaders.
 
"Never before in the history of India has a Prime Minister been found complicit in gaining false evidence against opposition leaders to seek revenge," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala in a statement.
 
"Stunning revelations have blown the lid off the concerted conspiracy, blind vendetta and web of lies weaved by the ‘Master of Deception' Narendra Modi against the Congress leadership in Agusta Westland Case," he added. 
 
A Congress statement said that as Michel was arrested in Dubai two days ago, a statement made by his advocate Rosemary Patrizi Dos Anjos has now clearly brought out that the Modi government and its agencies were forcing him to sign a false confessional statement naming Sonia Gandhi, while failing to produce any evidence in the courts in Dubai so far.
 
The party also noted that its UPA government had cancelled the contract for supply of 12 helicopters for a total cost of Rs 3,546 crore in February 2013 and handed over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation, while recovering nearly Rs 3,000 crore by encashing securities/bank guarantees and confiscating three Agusta Westland helicopters.
 
On the other hand, the Modi government has been protector and benefactor of Agusta Westland/Finmeccanica, by undoing the order black-listing Finmeccanica/Agusta Westland and permitted them to participate in defence contracts as a sub-contractor and defence supplier, said Surjewala.
 
IANS
 
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Doyen of Hindi poetry Gopal Das 'Neeraj' passes away

Gopal Das 'Neeraj'
Gopal Das 'Neeraj'
Doyen of Hindi poetry and legendary lyricist Gopal Das 'Neeraj' passed away at the All-India Medical Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in New Delhi on Thursday. He was 94.
 
He had been suffering from many old age-related ailments for the past few years and was shifted from Agra to the pulmonary department of AIIMS on Wednesday after he developed respiratory complications, a family member said.
 
Shashank Prabhakar, son of Neeraj, told reporters in the national capital that the body of the late poet would be first taken to Agra for people to pay their last respects and after that it would be taken to Aligarh where the last rites would be performed.
 
Neeraj was born in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh on January 4, 1924 and had endeared himself to generations with his soulful poems and lyrics. Many of his books and compositions won acclaim from his followers world over. 
 
His main compositions include Prangeet, Vibhawari, Antardhwani and Sangharsh, among others. He was honoured with the coveted Padma Shri in 1991 and the Padma Bhushan in 2007. The Uttar Pradesh government had bestowed on him the Yash Bharti award in 1994.
 
For his lyrics in Bollywood films, he won three back to back Filmfare awards in the 70s -- for "Kal ka pahiya ghoome re bhaiyya..." from the film "Chanda Aur Bijli" in 1970, "Bas yahi apradh main har baar karta hoon, aadmi hoon aadmi se par karta hoon..." from film "Pehchaan" in 1971 and "Ai bhai, zara dekh ke chalo..." from film "Mera Naam Joker" in 1972.
 
Expressing his condolences, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said the death of legendary poet is an irreparable loss. He also announced institution of an annual award in the memory of late poet, to be given away to five young poets. The award would carry a cash prize of Rs one lakh and a citation.
 
UP Governor Ram Naik also mourned his death, while Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has described the demise of Neeraj as an irreparable loss. Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party president Mahendra Nath Pandey also mourned the demise of Neeraj. 
 
The state government has announced that the last rites of the poet would be held with full state honours.
 
IANS
 
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Chidambaram victim of Modi government's vendetta: Congress

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As the CBI on Thursday filed a charge-sheet against former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti in the Aircel-Maxis case, the Congress said the senior party leader is "a victim of vendetta" of the Narendra Modi government.
 
"The kind of vendetta that Modi government unleashes every day is extremely unfortunate and one of the victims of that vendetta has been former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
 
"Modiji is blind in his rage against Congress leadership," he added.
 
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said the government is misusing its power and authority as well as the agencies.
 
"This is first time that we are seeing this thing happening in the country. There are multiple agencies registering the case for the same alleged offence.
 
"The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) registers one case, then there is constant harassment, interrogation, bail, then the ED (Enforcement Directorate) comes with the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002) method and then the Revenue Intelligence moves in," said Sharma. 
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth, Prannoy retain places in BWF rankings

P. V. Sindhu
P. V. Sindhu
India's star shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal retained their positions in women's singles in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released on Thursday.
 
While Saina skipped last week's Thailand Open, Sindhu made it to the final before losing to reigning World Champion Nozomi Okuhara, who climbed up two spots to 6th.
 
Despite her runner-up finish, Sindhu is still placed at No.3 while her compatriot Saina remained on 10th. 
 
Meanwhile, 16-year-old Vaishnavi Jakka Reddy climbed up four spots to break into the World top-50 for the first time, achieving a career-best ranking of 50.
 
Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, who returned to action this week in Singapore, also climbed up two places to 90th. Sai Uttejitha Rao, who hogged the limelight at the All India senior ranking tournament in Bengaluru recently, was one of the biggest movers as she climbed up 13 places to 115.
 
In men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth and H.S.Prannoy stayed put to their No.5 and No.11 spots, while Sameer Verma and B.Sai Praneeth dropped one place each to 19th and 25th respectively. 
 
Parupalli Kashyap, who reached the pre-quarters of Thailand Open last week, found his way back into the World top-50 as he climbed six spots to 48th. 
 
Among the others, Subhankar Dey dropped three places to 67th while Lakshya Sen faltered five places to 76th.
 
In men's doubles, Commonwealth Games silver medallists Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty dropped to 22nd while Manu Attri and B.Sumeeth Reddy climbed one place to 28th. 
 
Women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N.Sikki Reddy dropped one place to 28th. In mixed doubles, Satwik and Ponnappa climbed up nine spots to be ranked 47th.
 
IANS
 
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Modi says his government has walked the talk on rural electrification

 
Congress had promised to electrify every village, didn't happen: Modi
 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared his government had walked the talk on electrifying every village, unlike the previous government which, he said, had made false promises on this score and failed to implement them.
 
Interacting with beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana - 'Saubhagya' scheme across the country, through video bridge, he said thousands of villages had been electrified since NDA government had taken over.
 
The Government had not only focused on electrification but also reformed the distribution systems across the country, he added.
 
This was the tenth such interaction by Mr Modi through video conference with the beneficiaries of various Government schemes.
 
Expressing delight in interacting with the villagers from the recently electrified 18,000 villages, he said, “People who have not seen darkness, don't understand the meaning of illumination. Those who have not spent their lives in the darkness don't realise the value of light. ”
 
He said electrification work was completed in these 18,000 villages, which remained without electricity even after 70 years of independence, in the last four years. The last one electrified was Leisang village of Manipur on April 28.
 
Mr Modi said it was a difficult task to bring electricity to the last 18,000 villages, as most were in remote areas, hilly areas and areas with poor connectivity. Despite all the difficulties, a dedicated team of people worked hard to ensure that the dream of electrifying every village is achieved.
 
He claimed that the government has changed the situation in Eastern India which had 14,582 non- electrified villages out of 18,000 and out of which 5,790 villages were in the North East. The Government accords priority to the development of Eastern India and with complete electrification, now the region can play an even bigger role in India's development journey.
 
The Prime Minister said the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana has been started with the objective of electrifying each and every house in the country. More than 86 lakh household have been electrified through the Yojana so far. The Yojana is in a mission mode and will ensure electrical connection to around four crore households.
 
Interacting with the Prime Minister, the beneficiaries explained how electricity has transformed their lives. From completing work before sunset and forcing children to study with kerosene lamps, electrification has made life more comfortable.
 
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Student beaten to death in Delhi school

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A 17-year-old student of a government school here died after he was allegedly beaten up by a group of students in the school compound, police said on Thursday.
 
The incident occurred at 4.30 p.m. on Wednesday following a scuffle at Jyoti Nagar's S.K.V school, where the victim had gone to collect his transfer certificate along with his brother and meet his teacher.
 
Gaurav, a student of Class 10, wanted to switch schools to study class 11 and thus needed the certificate.
 
"His brother went to drink water and as he waited for him to come back, some boys came and took him to the school park where they beat him," a police official said, adding that when policemen reached the spot on getting information, they found Gaurav lying badly injured.
 
"His brother Gobinda had informed his family and Gaurav was taken to GTB Hospital, where doctors declared him dead.
 
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Northeast, Rajendra Prasad Meena said a group of five to six boys approached Gaurav to take revenge for a scuffle they had about 10 days back.
 
One of the boys has been apprehended and is being interrogated, he added.
 
Few of them were his schoolmates and rest from a different school. All of them were neighbours otherwise, Meena said.
 
"The investigation is on. We are yet to find the reason of the previous scuffle."
 
IANS
 
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Aircel-Maxis case: Chidambaram approved investment beyond his mandate, says CBI

File photo of P. Chidambaram
File photo of P. Chidambaram
The CBI listed on Thursday former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram as an accused in the Aircel-Maxis case, alleging that he had power to approve foreign investments only up to Rs 600 crore but he cleared Rs 3,200-crore investment without referring the matter to CCEA.
 
The revelation was made in the charge-sheet the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed in a special court here that listed the matter for hearing on July 31.
 
The investigation agency filed the charge-sheet against Chidambaram, his son Karti Chidambaram and 16 others.
 
Among the 16 others are former Union Secretary for Economic Affairs Ashok Kumar Jha, former Finance Secretary and then Additional Secretary Ashok Chawla, two serving IAS officers -- Joint Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna and Director Deepak Kumar Singh and an Under Secretary Ram Sharan, and private persons A. Palaniappan, Tatparanandam Krishnan, Augustus Ralph Marshal, S. Bhaskaraman and V. Srinivasan.
 
Besides, the charge-sheet also mentioned the names of companies -  Chess Management Services Holding Ltd; Astro All Asia Network PLC., Malaysia; Maxis Mobile SDN. BHD., Malaysia; Bumi Armada Berhad, Malaysia; Bumi Armada Navigation SDN. BHD., Malaysia; and Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd of Chennai.
 
A CBI official said that the charge-sheet was filed against Chidambaram for "misuse of official position". As Finance Minister he approved the investment at his level without sending the file to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). 
 
"He knew everything from the beginning," the official claimed.
 
"As per the government policy and FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) guidelines, as applicable in 2006, where the total foreign inflow is Rs 600 crore and above, the competent authority was CCEA to give approval for foreign investment," the official said.
 
He said that as the total inflow of foreign exchange involved in the acquisition of shares of Aircel Ltd was Rs 3,520 crore, only the CCEA was competent authority to give FIPB approval. 
 
"But the approval was given by then Finance Minister. It was shown on file that Aircel was being purchased for Rs 180 crore with 18 crore shares of Rs 10 face value each. However, they didn't show the premium (on these shares) of Rs 3,200 crore," the official said.
 
The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigated Karti Chidambaram's alleged role in getting FIPB clearance for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was the Union Finance Minister.
 
He also claimed that all the officials named in the charge-sheet actively discussed the matter of the FIPB.
 
A CBI source said when the Maxis applied to the FIPB for making the investment, in its initial application Rs 3,200 crore was mentioned. "But when the file came for approval in the Finance Ministry, only Rs 180 crore was shown as the foreign investment," the source said. 
 
The agency official also claimed that two firms -- Chess Management and Advantage Startegic Consultancy -- controlled by Karti Chidambaram received two illegal payments of Rs 26 lakh and Rs 87 lakh.
 
He said that on March 13, 2006, Aircel applied to the FIPB, and on March 29, 2006, an invoice for Rs 26 lakh was raised by Karti Chidambaram's firm to the Aircel. The Aircel made payment to the Advantage Strategic Consultancy through cheque on April 1, 2006.
 
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The official also claimed that when the agency officials asked for the purpose of the payment of Rs 26 lakh, the Karti Chidambaram's firm replied that it was for market survey.
 
Disclosing the details of the Rs 87 lakh payment made to Karti Chidambaram's other firm -- Chess Management -- by Maxis, the official said as per the details given by them, it was meant for providing a software named ELCM.
 
"However, when the agencies asked for a copy of the software, they were not able to furnish any," the official said.
 
"And all the payments were made during the same period to the Karti Chidambaram's firm," he said. 
 
On August 29, 2014, the CBI had filed a charge-sheet in the case alleging that between July 2004 and September 2008, Dayanidhi Maran, as a Minister in the UPA-I government, used his influence to help Malaysian businessman Krishnan buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake.
 
Sivasankaran alleged that Maran favoured the Krishnan-owned Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. In return, he alleged, Maxis made investments through Astro Network, a sister concern, in Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL), said to be owned by the Maran family.
 
However, a special court had dropped charges against former Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and others in the alleged kickback of Rs 742 crore in the Aircel-Maxis deal, saying the "perception or suspicion" was not backed by concrete evidence.
 
IANS
 
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LS passes Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, RS anti-corruption amendment

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The second day of Parliament's Monsoon Session on Thursday witnessed some productive time with the Lok Sabha passing the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill and the Rajya Sabha passing amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
Both the houses, which were adjourned for the day after passing these two important bills, also expressed concern over incidents of mob lynching and fake news on social media, prompting Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu to ask the government to evolve a national policy to curb the menace.
 
After day-long discussion, the Lok Sabha passed a Bill that provides for measures to deter fugitive economic offenders from evading prosecution by staying outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.
 
Taking part in the discussion, BJP's Nishikant Dubey blamed the previous Congress-led UPA government for the rise in non-performing assets of banks.
 
Opposition parties, however, termed the Bill as "eyewash", saying the government wanted to be seen to be taking action in various cases involving Lalit Modi, Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, all living outside the country.
 
Congress member Shashi Tharoor said the Bill was poorly drafted and would not withstand judicial scrutiny, questioning the logic of the provision putting the minimum value of offence at Rs 100 crore.
 
He also said the government should also review its extradition process with other countries.
 
Nationalist Congress Party member Supriya Sule said the Criminal Procedure Code also had a provision for property confiscation and also called for looking into problems of employees of companies of the fugitive offenders.
 
Kalyan Banejree of Trinamool Congress termed the Bill as "eyewash" and said it had some provisions which could be misused.
 
The Rajya Sabha passed the The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2013 that has stringent punishment for those giving bribes -- both individuals and organizations -- besides the bribe takers, extends requirement of prior sanction for prosecution to former public officials and covers attachment and forfeiture of property. 
 
Also prescribing imprisonment of a minimum of three years extendable upto seven years for giving bribe, it removes exemption for even "trivial" things given to an official. 
 
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During the discussion, members held that a distinction must be made between "coercive" (one who has been forced to pay bribes by those in authority) and "collusive" (one who willingly gives bribe to extract favours) bribe-giving and stressed that the current period of one week given to a coercive bribe-giver to report the matter was much less.
 
Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievances Jitendra Singh, while replying to the debate, said this grace period for coercive bribe-giver may be increased.
 
The recent incidents of mob lynching rocked both the houses.
 
Home Minister Rajnath Singh for the first time admitted in the Lok Sabha that fake news on social media had resulted in many such incidents, saying the government had asked service providers to put a check on rumour mongering on social media. 
 
He also said that "this is not the first time that such incidents have happened" and while condemning these incidents, said it was the responsibility of the states to take appropriate action.
 
Not satisfied with his response, the opposition walked out.
 
The Rajya Sabha also expressed concern over misuse of social media prompting the Chairman to ask the government to evolve a national policy after discussing with all stakeholders including political parties to combat the menace.
 
Naidu also suggested the house can hold a separate discussion on the issue.
 
Earlier, several opposition members flagged the issue of social media abuse and instances of mob lynching fuelled by the rumours on social media.
 
They demanded that the House condemn the attack on social activist Swami Agnivesh in Jharkhand and that the culprits be immediately arrested.
 
According to media reports, 20 people have died in lynching cases across the country this year.
 
IANS
 
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LS to take up no-trust motion on Friday, Modi, Rahul to speak

The BJP and opposition Congress sharpened their attacks on each other on Thursday, a day before the Lok Sabha takes up the no-confidence motion for debate and voting in an increasingly polarised environment with each side trying to maximise its chances of victory in the 2019 general elections.

The BJP and opposition Congress sharpened their attacks on each other on Thursday, a day before the Lok Sabha takes up the no-confidence motion for debate and voting in an increasingly polarised environment with each side trying to maximise its chances of victory in the 2019 general elections.
 
Top guns of the two parties, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, will take part in the debate which will conclude with a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
Seven hours have been set aside for the debate which will begin at 11 am and go on without the lunch break. Officials said as per calculations based on the strength of a party in the House, the BJP will get over three hours and Congress around 45 minutes.
 
Ruling coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), appeared confident of the numbers with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananthkumar saying that it will be "NDA plus" at the end of voting.
 
"We have talked to several parties. We will get fresh support from the south and the northeast. It will be NDA plus," he said.
 
In the 545-member (including the Speaker) Lok Sabha, the BJP-led NDA can bank on around 311 members, including 273 of BJP, SAD (4), Shiv Sena (18), LJP (6), RLSP (3), JD-U (2), Apna Dal (2), All India N R Congress (1), SDF (1) and NDPP (1). 
 
Ananthkumar also took a swipe at Congress leader Sonia Gandhi for her remarks on Wednesday that the Opposition had the required strength.
 
"She is not able to do her maths properly. What happened in 1999 is being repeated. The Congress had faced embarrassment," he said.
 
 Ananthkumar also taunted Congress for its support to TDP's no-confidence motion. "There is a talk that Congress is following those it opposes," he said.
 
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While Shiv Sena has issued a whip to its members in the Lok Sbha to be present and vote in favour of the government, AIADMK indicated that it might not support the no-confidence motion. AIADMK has 37 MPs.
 
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member Kesineni Srinavas, whose notice was accepted by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday as it was the first to be submitted, will initiate the debate on the motion.
 
A TDP delegation on Thursday sought the support of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the no-trust motion.
 
Apart from TDP, the notice of no-confidence had also been given by members of the Congress, NCP, RSP and CPI-M. 
 
BJP sources said Modi will speak for about one-and-a-half hours. Partry MPs Anurag Kashyap and Hukumdev Narayan Yadav may also speak in the debate. 
 
The Congress, the key rival of BJP in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, is expected to target the government on issues ranging from economy, problems of farmers and unemployment to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and petroleum prices.
 
It will also attack the government over "lynchings, social disharmony and social tensions."
 
Party leader Anand Sharma said on Thursday that the "government should come up with a white paper on economy and release fresh GDP growth numbers."
 
The motion will be the first to be faced by the Narendra Modi government, which is left with less than a year in office.
 
IANS
 
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Congress stays away from government's meeting on Lokpal

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Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he would not attend the meeting of the Selection Committee on Lokpal convened by the government today because he had been invited as a "Special Invitee" and not as a member of the committee.
 
In his letter dated July 18, 2018, Mr. Kharge, Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, referred to his earlier latters of February 28 and April 10 and said it was very disappointing that his earlier letters not only went unacknowledged, but the serious concerns that were raised therein remain unaddressed.
 
"The government insists on continuing to invite me as a special invitee to the Selection Committee meeting despite being aware of the fact that there is no such provision under section 4 of the Lokpal Act. It has been four years since your government came to power and if the government was ineed sincere about including the voice of the opposition in this process, it could have brought in the necessary amendments to ensure the same.
 
"I am sure you are aware that the Select Committee has approved the amendment to the Lokpal Act to include the Leader of the single largest Opposition party as a member of the Selection Committee. The fact that this amendment has never been brought before the house by the government clearly indicates that the government is keen to keep the opposition outside the process of appointing the Lokpal," he said.
 
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Mr. Kharge said the submissions made by the government in the Supreme Court and its actions indicated that the appointment of the Lokpal, or anti-corruption Ombudsman, had never been accorded due importance or priority by the Modi government.
 
"In fact, the recent actions of the government, including the dilution of of the Right to Information Act and the Whistleblowers' Protection Act, show that instead of strengthening laws to fight corruption and empowering the common man, betrays the intentions of this government," he said.
 
"I believe that the process of appointing the Lokpal under such circumstances is vitiated. I would also like to caution that any eminent person who would be chosen for appointment as Lokpal would not accept this appointment made by a Selection Committee that did not consider the views of the Opposition.
 
"Since no amendments in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 have been carried out, an invitation as a 'Special Invitee' without rights of participation, recording of opinion and voting in the procedure, is only to mislead the nation and the people, rather than sincerely seeking the participation and opinion of the opposition," he said.
 
"Under these circumstances, I must once again respectfully inform that I would not be able to attend the meeting of the Selection Committee until the leader of single largest opposition party is conferred the status of a full-fledged member as envisioned in the Lokpal Act, 2013," he added.
 
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CBI charge sheet names P. Chidambaram, son in Aircel-Maxis case

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The CBI on Friday filed a charge sheet against 18 people in the Aircel-Maxis deal case including former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti.
 
The agency filed the charge sheet before Special Judge O.P. Saini who listed the matter for hearing on July 31. 
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate are investigating Karti Chidambaram's alleged role in getting Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance for the Aircel-Maxis deal in 2006 when his father was the Union Finance Minister.
 
"We have filed a charge sheet in Aircel-Maxis case naming 18 persons, including P. Chidambaram and his son Karti Chidambaram," a CBI official said. 
 
The charge sheet also named two companies -- Advantage Strategic Consulting Pvt Ltd (ASCPL) and Chess Management Services Pvt Ltd (CMSPL) -- under various provisions. 
 
On August 29, 2014, the CBI had filed a charge sheet in the case alleging that between July 2004 and September 2008, Dayanidhi Maran, as Minister in the UPA-I government, used his influence to help Malaysian businessman T. A. Ananda Krishnan buy Aircel by coercing its owner Sivasankaran to part with his stake.
 
Sivasankaran alleged that Maran favoured the Krishnan-owned Maxis Group in the takeover of his company. In return, he alleged, Maxis made investments through Astro Network, a sister concern, in Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd (SDTPL), stated to be owned by the Maran family.
 
However, a special court had dropped charges against former Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and others in the alleged kickback of Rs 742 crore in the Aircel-Maxis deal, saying that the "perception or suspicion" was not backed by concrete evidence.
 
IANS
 
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Audio recording of conversation between abused Kerala nun, Cardinal reveals 'lie'

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A Malayalam television channel on Thursday broadcast an audio recording purportedly revealing that the head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church had lied about not knowing about allegations that a nun had been sexually abused by a bishop.
 
The recording, broadcast by the Mathrubhumi TV channel, pertains to a conversation between Cardinal Mar George Alencherry and the nun which suggests that the former had knowledge about her allegation that Franco Mulakkal, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar in Punjab, had sexually abused her.
 
In the recording, Alencherry is heard telling the nun that, if she was abused, "it's really bad".
 
The nun is then heard seeking advice from the Cardinal who, in turn, says that it would be better if she registered a complaint with the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who is based in Mumbai.
 
The authenticity of the tape, however, could not be independently verified.
 
Alencherry, is also heard telling the nun that he would not say anything about this to the police. However, he adds that if she had been subjected to such abuse, it was "not correct".
 
When the Kerala Police probe team recorded Alencherry's statement on Wednesday, he did not reveal any of this.
 
Earlier in July, Alencherry had told the media soon after the case of the nun's alleged abuse had surfaced, that it was true that the nun had spoken to him, but it was about other issues related to the Jalandhar Diocese and nothing pertaining to the case.
 
Speaking to the media, the victim' brother, who is also a Catholic priest, said that the reason why they decided to release the audio tape of the conversation between his sister and the Cardinal, is because he was not speaking the truth.
 
"We would not have released this particular audio had he told the police yesterday the truth," the brother said.
 
"She had met the Cardinal and given her complaint in writing but no action was taken. It was then that we decided to record the telephone conversation. 
 
"We have more evidence and will release that also," said the nun's brother.
 
Trouble began for Bishop Mulakkal in June when the nun alleged that she was sexually abused by him several times between 2014 and 2016.
 
An FIR was registered against the bishop and a 114-page detailed statement was taken from the nun.
 
Mulakkal, for his part, maintains that he has done "no wrong at all" and that the nun took part in several functions besides travelling with him.
 
The probe team has so far collected evidence from a convent near Kottayam, where the bishop is alleged to have abused the nun and on Wednesday, Cardinal Alencherry's statement was recorded, wherein he said he did not know anything about the nun-bishop case.
 
IANS
 
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BJP believes in hiding the truth: Rahul

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Criticising the proposed amendment to the RTI Bill that he says will render it "useless", Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday slammed the BJP for believing only in keeping the truth hidden.
 
"Every Indian has the right to know the truth. The BJP believes the truth must be hidden from the people and they must not question people in power. The changes proposed to the RTI will make it a useless Act," Gandhi tweeted. 
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party's move to pass The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018 "must be opposed by every Indian", he added.
 
The Centre on Wednesday had said it was considering a proposal to amend the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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No coercive steps against Umar Khalid till Friday, HC tells JNU

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday restrained the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) from taking any coercive steps against the student-activist Umar Khalid till Friday.
 
"JNU shall not take any coercive action against the petitioner (Khalid)," Justice Siddharth Mridul said and listed the matter for Friday for further hearing.
 
Khalid was rusticated and fined by a university panel in connection with a 2016 incident when anti-India slogans were allegedly raised at an event.
 
Justice Siddharth Mridul's order came while hearing Khalid's plea challenging the university's order which has imposed a fine against him.
 
The court also issued notice to JNU and others and sought the response on the student's plea.
 
Khalid's advocate told the court that former Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar has also approached the court and his matter is listed for Friday for further hearing.
 
Kumar in his plea has sought quashing of the order passed by JNU through its Chief Proctor on July 4.
 
JNU on July 4's order held Kumar and others guilty under clause of Discipline and Proper Conduct of Students of JNU and fined them.
 
The order has been issued based on the report by a high-level enquiry committee that was set up on February 11, 2016.
 
An enquiry found student-activist Umar Khalid, along with Kumar and Anirban Bhattacharya, guilty in the February 2016 episode in which a group of young men allegedly raised "anti-national" slogans.
 
It had also recommended rustication of Umar Khalid apart from imposing financial penalty on 13 other students for violation of disciplinary norms.
 
Kumar, a member of the Communist Party of India's student wing, was the President of the university's student union that year.
 
The three were accused -- though none has yet been chargesheeted by police -- of raising slogans against the integrity of India during a poetry-reading gathering of students at Sabarmati Dhaba inside the JNU campus on February 9, 2016.
 
IANS
 
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India, US hold Senior Officers Meeting on Homeland Security Dialogue

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India and the United States discussed issues related to security cooperation, customs and immigration, aviation security and capacity building at their Senior Officers Meeting on Homeland Security Dialogue held here on Wednesday.
 
Both sides agreed to work out the modalities to address these issues, an official press release said.
 
The Indian team to the talks was led by Ms. Rajni Sekhri Sibal, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, while the US side was led by Mr. James McCament, Deputy Under Secretary, Department of Homeland Security. 
 
"The discussions were held in a friendly atmosphere and it was agreed to maintain sustained interactions to enhance security cooperation between the two countries," the release added.
 
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Partly cloudy Thursday morning in Delhi

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It was a partly cloudy Thursday morning in the national capital with the minimum temperature recorded at 28.2 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season's average, the Met Office said.
 
"The sky will remain partly cloudy with chances of light rain and thunderstorm later in the day," an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.
 
The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 35 degrees Celsius. The humidity at 8.30 a.m. was 78 per cent. 
 
The maximum temperature on Wednesday settled at 37.3 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season's average, while the minimum was recorded at 28.6 degrees Celsius, one notch above the season's average.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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