13:42 Ready to meet anyone to help find solution for J&K: Rajnath:
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who arrived in Srinagar today on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, said he has come with an open mind and willing to meet anyone who helps government find solutions to the problems faced by the state.
Singh met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
The official Twitter handle of the home minister said Singh will chair a review meeting of Prime Minister’s Development Package.
“I am going there with an open mind and I am willing to meet anyone who will help us in finding solutions to problems facing J&K,” Singh said in a tweet before taking off from the capital.
Singh said he will be interacting with delegations of civil society in the state during his stay.
The home minister arrived at the Srinagar airport where he was received by deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh and senior officials of the state government, officials said.
During his stay in the state, the home minister is likely to meet Governor N N Vohra, besides meeting top civil administration and security officials, the officials said.
The officials said the home minister is scheduled to visit Khanabal in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district where he will interact with CRPF and police officials.
South Kashmir has been on the boil over the past one and a half year and has witnessed several encounters between security forces and militants.
Singh will also visit Naushera in Rajouri district and Jammu district during the four-day visit, they added.
IMAGE: Home Minister Rajnath Singh meets Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Photograph: HMO India
12:56 In touch with Indians hit by Hurricane Irma: MEA:
The external affairs ministry said today that it was monitoring the situation and communicating with the Indian diaspora in the United States, Venezuela, France and the Netherlands in the wake of deadly Hurricane Irma.
The ministry’s spokesman Raveesh Kumar said the Indian missions in the four countries were in touch with local government officials to provide assistance to the affected Indians.
“Our missions in Venezuela, the Netherlands, France and the US are constantly monitoring the situation following destruction due to hurricane Irma. They are in constant touch with the Indian diaspora affected by Irma and with local government officials to provide all possible assistance,” Kumar said in a series of tweets.
Irma, a category 5 hurricane with winds swirling at 260 kilometres per hour, barrelled towards Florida after making landfall in Cuba’s Camaguey Archipelago. It killed at least 19 people and damaged thousands of homes on the Caribbean islands.
France said at least 10 people have been killed across its Caribbean territories with seven more missing. Two people died on the Dutch side of the Saint Martin island.
The external affairs ministry spokesman tweeted telephone numbers for Indians to contact in case of emergency: Embassy of India, Venezuela (+58 4241951854/4142214721); Netherlands (+31247247247); France (0800000971).
The Indian embassy in the Netherlands tweeted that they were in touch with the Dutch government.
The Indian embassy in Caracas in Venezuela was also monitoring the situation in Saint Martin and “coordinating the welfare of all Indians living there.”
12:22 Day after student’s murder, principal of Ryan Intl School suspended:
The acting principal of Ryan International School in Gurugram, Neerja Batra, has been suspended a day after a Class 2 student was killed in the school premises.
A conductor on one of the school buses has reportedly confessed to murdering the seven-year-old after a failed sexual assault attempt.
Angry parents have been protesting outside school premises demanding that its management be booked as well.
Meanwhile, the parents association has slapped Rs 100 crore fine against Ryan International and have demanded a shutdown of the school.
12:14 : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrives in Jammu and Kashmir to hold talks with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor NN Vohra.
Rajnath will be in Kashmir from September 9-11.
An unidentified terrorist was today killed in an encounter with security forces in Sopore township of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police said.
Acting on specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists in Reban area of Sopore, security forces launched a “cordon and search operation” this morning, a police official said.
When the forces were conducting the search operation, terrorists opened fire upon them following which the security personnel retaliated, triggering an encounter in which one terrorist was killed, the officer said.
The identity of the slain terrorist was being ascertained, he added.
The operation was still going on, he said.
11:01 On day 2 of raids, illegal explosive factory found inside Dera HQ:
An illegal explosive factory was found inside the jailed guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s sprawling base in Haryana’s Sirsa on the second day of a search operation being carried out by security forces and district authorities.
Over 80 cartons of explosives were recovered from the premises, which the officials of Dera Sacha Sauda, the sect headed by the officials say was used to make crackers. The factory has been sealed and a forensic team is examining the nature of the explosive.
The search operation to sanitize the Dera premises began on Friday morning amid tight security and curfew in the area.
In the first two hours of search yesterday, a large amount of cash including plastic money, banned currency, hard discs and computers were seized and two rooms were sealed at the Dera Sacha Sauda sect’s headquarters covering around 800 acres.
Ram Rahim, the flamboyant “Guru of Bling”, was jailed for 20 years last week after he was convicted of raping two followers inside the Dera base.
10:31 Rajnath to visit Jammu-Kashmir, will meet all stakeholders:
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Jammu and Kashmir today to hold talks with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor NN Vohra.
Rajnath will be in Kashmir from September 9-11. He will meet all the stakeholders and also hold a press conference.
In his three-day visit, the Home Minister is scheduled to hold talks with the officials of the state and discuss the current situation.
The home minister will also discuss the roadmap to ensure long term solutions to the problems people are facing in the valley.
The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, last month, met Rajnath, reportedly, to drum up support for preventing attempts to remove special status to the state under the Constitution.
09:44 1 dead in violent clashes in Jaipur, curfew in parts of city:
At least one person has died and 12 are injured in violent clashes between the locals and policemen in Rajasthan capital Jaipur late last night. Curfew has been imposed in some parts of the city and mobile internet services have also been suspended in the walled city.
According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred after a policeman tried to stop a man on motorbike during a routine checking in Ramganj area. The man, according to the police, tried to run away and was hit by the cop.
Situation turned violent after hundreds of people gathered at a police station in the area in protest and started throwing stones on the cops. The police were forced to use tear gas to disperse the mob that went on rampage setting on fire a power house, a few vehicles including an ambulance. They attacked journalists too, police said.
09:07 Hurricane Irma: Americans told to flee as storm smashes into Cuba:
Hurricane Irma lashed Cuba and the Bahamas as it drove toward Florida on Saturday after hitting the eastern Caribbean with its devastatingly high winds, killing 21 people and leaving catastrophic destruction in its wake.
As many as 5.6 million people were told to evacuate from Florida — more than a quarter of the state’s population. At least 540,000 people in parts of Georgia were also told to flee as the storm headed towards the American mainland.
“This is a storm that will kill you if you don’t get out of the way,” said National Hurricane Center meteorologist and spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
Feltgen said the storm has a really wide eye, with hurricane-force winds that cover the entire Florida peninsula and potentially deadly storm surges on both coasts.
Tom Bossert, US homeland security adviser, said: “Please listen to your local authorities.
“You need to evacuate from south to north — that is a staggered and carefully thought-out process.
“There will come a point where you are on your own.”
In West Palm Beach, police are going door to door, urging people to obey the mandatory evacuation order.
Rick Scott, the governor of Florida, said they were working to ensure that fuel was available for cars to get to shelters. He told people they should not wait, and should leave now.
Irma claimed its first victim in Florida, even before making landfall, when a 57-year-old man fell from a ladder while fitting storm shutters at his home.
The recent premeditated murder of Gauri Lankesh, apparently not for any personal enmity or monetary gain, was most deplorable.
Equally deplorable is the consequent murder of democracy ‘” because dissent is the soul of democracy.
08:46 JUST IN: Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Cuba as massive Category Five storm: US forecasters
08:37 After Jinping, Modi to host Japan’s Abe in Gandhinagar next week: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold bilateral talks with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Gandhinagar, instead of Delhi, on September 14, sources told The Indian Express.
This will mark the second time that Modi will be hosting a visiting leader and holding bilateral talks in Gandhinagar — the last time was his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2014.
Three years ago, when Xi was hosted on the banks of the Sabarmati river, the standoff at Chumar was ongoing. This time, almost three weeks after the disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam, Abe is the first foreign leader to visit the country.
Japan was the only major country which conveyed its unequivocal support to India and Bhutan through diplomatic channels during the Doklam standoff.
Sources said Modi and Abe would hold talks in Gandhinagar and take part in the ground-breaking ceremony (bhoomi pujan) for the ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, commonly referred to as the bullet train project, which is estimated to cost Rs 98,000 crore. The ceremony will be held at a site near the Sabarmati railway station in the city.
When Modi visited Japan in November last year, Abe travelled with him to Kobe in a bullet train. During Modis earlier visit in September 2014, Abe flew down to Kyoto to receive him, and the two leaders then went to Tokyo for a bilateral meeting.
During Abes last visit to India in 2015, he and Modi travelled to Varanasi and witnessed the Ganga Aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat. Sources said Abe has visited Delhi at least a dozen times in the past, and the PM wanted to take him out of Delhi.
08:14 4 years on, Muzaffarnagar victims await compensation: Amnesty:
Driven out of their villages and forced to live in squalid conditions, around 200 families affected in the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 are yet to receive
the promised compensation of Rs 50,000, an Amnesty International report has said.
The report documents the “broken promises” made to the families belonging to villages in western Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar and Shamli, which were torn asunder by communal violence. The riots had left at least 60 dead.
The Uttar Pradesh government had promised to extend an assistance of Rs 50,000 to the families from nine ‘worst-affected’ villages of these two districts. Amnesty, with Shamli-based NGO AKFAR India, surveyed these familes between August 2016 and April 2017.
“According to government records, 980 families in Muzaffarnagar and 820 families in Shamli have received compensation so far from the nine identified villages.
However, about 200 families from these villages are still waiting to receive relocation compensation.
“In several cases, authorities have inconsistently applied their definition of a family to deny compensation. In others, families have had to face clerical errors and corruption. Many of these families live in horrific conditions in so-called relief colonies, with little access to water,
sanitation, electricity and adequate housing,” the report said.
Over 50,000 people were displaced in the violence.
The special investigative team, probing the riots, has completed its probe in all but one case, with chargesheets being filed in 175 out of 511 cases, an official said recently. A total of 1,478 people were arrested in connection with the riots. Most of the accused had got bail.
00:13 Bernie Sanders jabs back at Clinton’s new book:
US Senator Bernie Sanders brushed off Hillary Clintons criticism of him in her new book about the 2016 presidential election, saying hes not interested in playing the blame game.
The senator from Vermont suggested that his former rival is simply venting her emotions.
Look, you know, Secretary Clinton ran against the most unpopular candidate in the history of this country, and she lost.
And she was upset by that. I understand that.
“But our job now is really not to go backwards. It is to go forwards. It is to create the nation we know we can become. We have enormous problems facing us, and I think its a little bit silly to keep talking about 2016,” said the senator.
‘What Happened’ is Hillary Clinton’s attempt to explain how she lost to Trump.