12:38 More agony for Talwars: SC admits CBI plea against acquittal: The Supreme Court today agreed to hear the CBI’s appeal challenging the acquittal of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the 2008 twin murder case of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj. A bench headed by Justices Ranjan Gogoi said the CBI’s appeal would be heard along with Hemraj’s wife’s pending petition, which has also challenged the acquittal of the Talwars by the Allahabad High Court on October 12 last year.
“Leave granted,” the bench, also comprising Justices Navin Sinha and K M Joseph, said. Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, representing the CBI, referred to the plea filed by Hemraj’s wife’s. The bench said CBI’s appeal would be tagged with it.
Fourteen-year-old Aarushi was found dead inside her room in the Talwars’ Noida residence with her throat slit in May 2008. The needle of suspicion had initially moved towards 45-year-old Hemraj, who had gone missing, but his body was recovered from the terrace of the house two days later.
A CBI court at Ghaziabad sentenced the Talwars to life imprisonment on November 26, 2013 in connection with the case. The high court had freed them of the charges on the ground that they could not be held guilty on the basis of the evidence on record. — PTI
Image: Dentist couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar walk out of Dasna Jail in October 2017, after four years of prison life.
12:14 Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra to be flag bearer for the Indian contingent at Asian Games 2018.
12:10 SC directs police to act against rampaging Kanwariyas : The Supreme Court today directed the police to act against those Kanwariyas who indulge in vandalism and take the law in their hands.
The Delhi Police yesterday made the first arrest in the case where the Kanwariyas went on a rampage and damaged a Hyundai i10 car near Moti Nagar. A 26-year-old man was arrested in the matter.
The incident took place on Tuesday on a stretch of busy road near Moti Nagar metro station causing a traffic snarl and forcing some of the commuters to take a detour.
The accused, Rahul Billa, was identified through a CCTV footage and was later arrested. Billa is a resident of Uttam Nagar and has been previously involved in thefts, the police said.
A grey car being driven by a woman, who was with a male friend, allegedly hit a Kanwariya.
11:55 ATS seizes explosives from Nallasopara in Maha, 1 held: The Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra police has seized explosives from the house of a suspected member of a right-wing Hindu organisation at Nallasopara in Palghar district of the state, and arrested him, a police official said today. The ATS sleuths raided the residence and shop of the accused at Bhandar Aali in Sopara village of Nallasopara West late last night and seized the explosives, the official said.
The accused was arrested and it was being confirmed whether the explosives include RDX, the official said. The name of the accused and that of the organisation was not revealed by the police.
The ATS returned to the Mumbai Unit along with the accused, and he will be interrogated, police said, adding he is likely to be produced in a court here this afternoon. — PTI
11:47 Dalai Lama apologises for calling Nehru self-centred:
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has apologised for his controversial statement that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had a “self-centred attitude” to become India’s first prime minister even though Mahatma Gandhi was in favour of Muhammad Ali Jinnah taking the top post at that time.
In view of the flak that the Dalai Lama has received, the spiritual head of the Tibetan community in exile, thought it fit to apologise for his comments.
“My statement has created controversy, if I said something wrong I apologise,” he said.
Dalai Lama had claimed India’s partition would not have happened if Mahatma Gandhi’s wish of Jinnah becoming the prime minister had materialised.
The 83-year-old monk was addressing an event at the Goa Institute of Management in Goa’s Sankhalim town, located about 40 km from Panaji, on Wednesday.
Responding to a student’s question on taking right decisions, he said, “I feel democratic systems are very good than the feudal system, which gives power of making decisions in the hands of a few people, which is more dangerous.”
“Now look at India. I think Mahatma Gandhiji was very much willing to give the prime ministership to Jinnah. But Pandit Nehru refused,” he said.
“I think it was a little bit self-centred attitude of Pandit Nehru that he should be the prime minister… Mahatma Gandhiji’s thinking, if it had materialised, then India, Pakistan would have been united,” he said.
“So Pandit Nehru, I know very well, (was) very experienced person, very wise but sometimes mistake also happens,” he said.
11:25 Naxals torch vehicles at road construction site in Chhattisgarh: Naxals on late Thursday night set fire to several vehicles engaged in road construction work in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district. The incident took place around 2:30 am near Bacheli town where the road construction work was going on.
A group of more than 40 armed Naxals stormed the construction site and set aflame as many as five trucks.The ultras also snatched the mobile phones of the lorry drivers, before vandalizing the vehicles.
11:12 Congress stand on Triple Talaq clear: Sonia : On the last day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament today, the much-debated Triple Talaq Bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi joined her party leaders and leaders from other parties like the CPI-M, RJD and AAP outside Parliament House demanding a JPC on the Rafale deal.
Breaking her silence on the Triple Talaq Deal, Sonia said, “Our party’s position is absolutely clear on this, I will not say anything on this further.”
The Congress has opposed the criminality aspect in the BIll.
Yesterday, the Union Cabinet approved an amendment to the bill and proposed three changes in the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, 2017.
First, only the victim, a blood relation or relation by marriage are allowed to lodge an FIR in the case.
Second, the case can be dropped if husband and wife agree to settle their differences and third, a magistrate can grant bail to men found guilty of giving instant triple talaq to their wives. However, the offence still remains non-bailable.
If the amended bill is passed in the upper house, it will have to go back to Lok Sabha for approval of the amendments.
On December 29, the Lok Sabha passed the bill which seeks to make instant triple talaq a criminal offence, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government tabled it in the lower house.
The Bill proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife in any form of spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp.
10:51 Number of excluded people will change in NRC in Assam: Sarma: Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said the number of people excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens in the state will “drastically” change at the end of the process of claims and objections.
The final draft of the NRC in the state is not a major issue as it is not the final one, he told reporters yesterday. “It is not proper to come to a conclusion regarding the NRC in Assam. It is just a draft. In our NRC, names of many people are not there. This number will drastically change after claims and objections are taken into consideration,” said Sarma, who is also the convenor of the North-East Democratic Alliance, formed by the BJP along with regional political parties.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who was present during the interaction with reporters, said he was unaware of any demand for updating NRC in the state. The NRC revision has rocked Assam since the publication of its final draft on July 30. Names of over 40 lakh people have been excluded from the draft of the NRC. — PTI
10:36 Rain fury continues in Kerala, 2 more shutters of Idukki reservoir opened:
As heavy rains continued to lash various parts of Kerala, two more shutters of the Cheruthoni Dam, part of the Idukki Reservoir, were opened today as the water level touched 2,401 feet.
For the first time in the last 26 years, a shutter of the Cheruthoni Dam was opened yesterday and two more were opened at 7 am.
The full reservoir level is 2,403 feet and storage capacity is 69,268 Mcft and storage percentage is 97.61 per cent.
The South-west monsoon has been vigorous over Kerala resulting in heavy rains in various parts of the state since the past two days.
So far 26 people have been killed, including 11 in high range Idukki in landslips yesterday as rain continued to pound the southern state.
Idukki has received 129.80 mm rainfall.
With water levels rising in various dams and reaching almost maximum capacity, shutters of at least 22 reservoirs in the state have been opened to drain out excess water.
According to state disaster control room sources, 241 relief camps have been opened and 15,695 people have been shifted from low-lying areas.
Over 5,500 people from Wayanad district, where a red alert had been sounded yesterday, have been shifted to relief camps, the sources said this morning.
In Ernakulam, 3,456 people have been shifted to camps following floods after 4 shutters of the Idamalayar dam were opened yesterday.
According to Indian Meteorological Department bulletin at 8 am, thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds are likely to affect Idukki, Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts. — PTI
10:09 Woman gang raped in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur:
A 28-year-old woman was allegedly raped by four men in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, the police said today.
The woman, who lives in the S R Nagar area in Hyderabad, told the police that the incident took place in March, but she did not approach the police then, they said.
As her pictures appeared online recently she lodged a formal complaint with the police, DCP (West Zone) A R Srinivas said.
In her complaint she said one of the accused, Raj Kiran, known to the her, took her to a room in Guntur on the pretext of a job and offered her drinks laced with sedatives following which she fell unconscious and when she gained consciousness she found that she had been raped by the four men, the DCP said.
A case of gang rape has been registered and as the alleged offence took place in Guntur, the case will be transferred to the Guntur police, Srinivas said, adding that as per preliminary investigation there are also allegations of a financial dispute between the woman and Kiran and that angle is also being probed. — PTI
09:14 Atif Aslam faces backlash for singing Indian song at Pak I-Day parade:
Pakistani vocalist Atif Aslam has been trolled on social media and also criticised by the country’s mainstream media, for singing an Indian song at a Pakistan Independence Day function in New York earlier this month.
Atif, who has lent his voice to many Bollywood songs, sang one of his Indian tracks ‘Tera Hone Laga Hoon’ from the 2009 film “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani”, starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif.
This prompted many of his fans back home to question his patriotism and also hit out at him.
A twitter user who uses the handle @sakhwa wrote, “Zero respect for Atif Aslam!”
Another user with @Pakistani09 handle tweeted calling for boycott of the singer.
“Boycott Atif Aslam @itsaadee Ap Ne Dil Tor diya #boycottAtifAslam #AtifAslam.”
However, many like vocalist Shafqat Amanat Ali, who has also lent his voice to some Indian songs, defended Atif.
“I stand in support of Atif Aslam for singing his songs at the parade. Music is not Indian or Pakistani. It’s just music. Singers are synonymous with their songs which are loved equally by fans from every country,” Amanat said.
Film critic, Omair Alavi said people need to remember that Bollywood films and dramas are shown openly in Pakistan in cinemas and on television channels as art, film or music has no boundaries.
“Don’t Pakistanis go to watch Indian films? Are not Indian dramas a regular on our channels,” he questioned. — PTI
09:12 Huge quantity of explosives found in Maharashtra’s Palghar:
A huge quantity of explosives, suspected to be RDX, was found at Nallasopara in Palghar district of Maharashtra, police said.
The explosives were found at Bhandar aali in Nallasopara west, they added.
After getting information about the explosives, officials of the Maharashtra ATS and senior officials of Palghar Police rushed to the spot and an investigation was on, an official said.
“A forensics team have been called and we are analysing the substance to determine if it is RDX,” he added. — PTI
09:07 Triple talaq bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today:
The Centre will make a fresh attempt in Rajya Sabha today to clear the draft law making instant triple talaq a criminal offence.
TOday is the last day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament and the government could introduce amendments in Rajya Sabha.
If the bill is cleared by the upper house, it will have to go back to Lok Sabha for approval of the amendments.
The move comes a day after the Union Cabinet made some amendments to the draft bill, including adding a bail provision to it.
While the proposed law will remain “non-bailable”, the accused can approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail.
Under a non-bailable law, bail cannot be granted by police at the police station itself.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said a provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail “after hearing the wife”.
08:33 Trump’s in-laws become US citizens using ‘chain migration’, which he denounces:
President Donald Trump’s Slovenian in-laws became United States citizens through “chain migration”, a programme he has repeatedly denounced, in which adult American citizens can obtain citizenship for their relatives.
First Lady Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became US citizens at a private ceremony here. She had sponsored her parents for their green cards, their lawyer Michael Wildes said in a report in The New York Times.
“Once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible,” he said.
When asked if the Knavses had obtained citizenship through “chain migration”, Wildes, said, “I suppose.” “It’s a dirty a dirtier word,” he said, but added that “it stands for a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification.”
Trump has vehemently opposed the “chain migration” system, more commonly known as family-based immigration, that lets adult American citizens obtain citizenship for their relatives.
In November, he had tweeted, “CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!
Trump also often speaks out against the family-based immigration system at his rallies, saying it a pathway for terrorists to enter the country, the NYT report added.
According to the report, the first lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham said since the Knavses are not part of the administration, she is not commenting on them.
Standing alongside the Knavses, their lawyer said the couple has “travailed a wonderful journey, like most have, millions have in getting citizenship and waiting the requisite period of time.”
He said their application, the process, the interview was no different than anybody’s else’s.
“These doors that are in America remain hinged open to beautiful people as they have today. They would appreciate their privacy and we just thank everybody for their attention to this very important dialogue that we are having on immigration. This is an example of it going right,” he said.
Viktor, 74, is two years older than President Trump.
Amalija is 73.
The first lady, born Melanija, changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modelling.
According to news reports, Melania came to the US in 2001 on a so-called Einstein visa for “individuals of extraordinary ability” as a model.
She became a United States citizen in 2006.
The Knavses came and went from the ceremony at a Manhattan federal building flanked by Homeland Security police.
Melania Trump was not present for the ceremony.
She was in Bedminster, New Jersey, at the Trump National Golf Club, where Trump is currently staying. — PTI
00:04 Rescued Thai cave boys granted citizenship:
Three boys from the Wild Boar soccer team and their coach, who were rescued from deep within a flooded cave in Thailand last month, have been granted Thai citizenship.
In a ceremony in Chiang Rai province, the Mae Sai district chief approved citizenship for Ardoon Sam-aon, Mongkol Boompiam, Ponchai Khamluang, and assistant coach Ekkapol Ake Chanthawong.
The Wild Boar team attracted international attention in late June when 12 young players and their coach ventured inside a cave in northern Thailand for an afternoon excursion but found the exit blocked by rising floodwater.
The team was trapped for almost three weeks, before cave diving experts from around the world led a complex operation to bring them out on stretchers carried through narrow tunnels.