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LIVE! Conducted 3 cross border strikes in 5 years: Rajnath

17:42  Conducted 3 cross border strikes in 5 years: Rajnath:  

Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said apart from the surgical strike after the Uri terror attack and the air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakot after Pulwama, there was a “third strike” but stopped short of giving details.

“In the last five years, three time we have crossed the border and conducted successful strikes. I will provide information on two, but not the third. Once in Uri, our soldiers were killed by terrorists coming from Pakistan, then our soldiers had responded. Next was after Pulwama. The third one I will not disclose,” Rajnath Singh said at a rally in Mangaluru, a video of which has been shared by news agency ANI.

“India is not weak anymore”, he added as the crowd broke out into loud applause.

India had sent fighter jets to Balakot in Pakistan on February 26 to target the biggest terror training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group responsible for the February 14 terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama in which over 40 soldiers were killed by a suicide bomber. 

In September 2016, Indian troops had crossed the Line of Control to take out terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, weeks after Pakistani terrorists attacked an army base in Uri in Kashmir, killing 19 soldiers. 

17:01  Pak extends closure of its airspace for international transit flights till March 11:  

Pakistan on Saturday extended the closure of its airspace for international transit flights till March 11, according to a media report.


In a notification, the Civil Aviation Authority said that the country’s airspace would now be closed for international transit flights until 3 pm on March 11, the Express Tribune reported. 

However, it said operations on fixed flights routes between North and South would be permitted, the report said.

The decision came a day after, Pakistan on Friday had announced that the country’s airspace would be fully re-opened from March 9. 

The decision to close the airspace came on February 27 after a rare aerial dogfight between India and Pakistan ignited fears of an all-out conflict, with world powers rushing to urge restraint.

Flights between Asia and Europe were also disrupted, stranding thousands of passengers, the report said.

Both India and Pakiatan claimed to have shot each other’s warplanes down, and one Indian pilot was captured. He was returned to India later, crossing the Wagah border on foot. — PTI


16:38  Pak demands ICC action against India for wearing military cap:  

Pakistan has demanded that the International Cricket Council take note of Indian cricketers wearing camouflage military caps during the third ODI against Australia, accusing Virat Kohli team’s of politicising the game.


As a mark of respect to the Central Reserve Police Force jawans who lost their lives in the Pulawama terrorist attack, Indian cricketers sported the Army cap and also donated their match fee for the welfare of the families of the martyrs.


Taking an exception to the gesture, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the International Cricket Council must do something about it.


“The world saw that the Indian cricket team wore military caps instead of their own, did ICC not see this? We think that it is the ICC’s responsibility to take notice of this without the Pakistan Cricket Board bringing it up,” Qureshi was quoted as saying by Pakistan media.


India had lost the match by 32 runs but still lead the five-match series 2-1.


Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry echoed Qureshi’s sentiment.


“It’s just not Cricket,” Chaudhry tweeted in the evening, attaching a picture which showed Indian cricketers wearing the cap.


“And if the Indian team will not be stopped, Pak cricket team should wear black bands to remind The World about Indian atrocities in Kashmir,” Chaudhry wrote.


The minister urged the Pakistan Cricket Board to lodge a formal protest against India with the sport’s world governing body.


At least 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives in the suicide attack on February 14, the responsibility of which was taken by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. — PTI 

Image: India’s skipper Virat Kohli and teammate MS Dhoni greet each other during the 3rd ODI cricket match against Australia, in Ranchi. Photograph: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI Photo

16:23  Def Ministry dismisses reports of army jawan’s abduction in J&K:  

The defence ministry on Saturday denied reports of an army jawan being abducted by terrorists from his home in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, saying he is “safe”.


The family of Mohammad Yaseen, posted with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry Regiment, had on Friday informed the police that some people came to their house at Qazipora Chadoora in Budgam and took him away.


Yaseen was on leave.


However, a defence spokesperson Saturday said the reports of the abduction of the jawan were incorrect.

“Clarification. Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided,” the spokesperson said in a tweet.


An army official said they are trying to ascertain where the jawan had been on Friday night which prompted his family to approach the police. — PTI 


16:21  Who released Masood Azhar from jail, Rahul asks Modi :  

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell the nation that it was the BJP government which released terror outfit JeM chief Masood Azhar from an Indian jail.


Addressing a public rally Haveri in north Karnataka, Gandhi said, “Let Modi make me understand who sent Masood Azhar from Indian jail to Pakistan.”


The Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF men were killed.


“I have a small question for Modi. Who killed CRPF jawans? What is the name of JeM chief? His name is Masood Azhar,” the Congress chief said, adding it was the BJP government in 1999 that sent him from Indian jail to Pakistan through Kandahar in Afghanistan.


“Why are you not speaking about it. Why are you not saying that the person who killed CRPF jawans was sent to Pakistan by BJP… Modiji we are not like you. We don’t bow in front of terror. Make it clear to people to India who sent Masood Azhar,” he said.


Pakistan-based Azhar was released by India in exchange of passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999 during the Vajpayee government.


Gandhi also alleged that while Modi talked about corruption, the whole country knew he was corrupt.


He said the ruling alliance of the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular in Karnataka would fight the Lok Sabha elections together and win it. — PTI


15:49  Corrupt are opposing and abusing me to get votes. PM:  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday again hit out at those seeking proof of India’s air strike in Balakot, Pakistan and slammed the previous Congress government for its handling of terror incidents post-26/11 Mumbai attack.


Addressing a public meeting in Greater Noida, Modi said the corrupt are opposing and abusing him in order to get votes.


Modi, who became prime minister in 2014, said today India works on ‘nayi reeti, nayi neeti‘ (new methods, new policies), asserting that after the terror attack in Uri (J-K) in 2016, the country for the “first time taught terrorists a lesson in a language they understand” with surgical strikes.


“Is it okay for you (the people) to have a government that does nothing?,” he asked the gathering of thousands.


“After Uri, proofs were sought. Our soldiers did something that has never happened before. Our soldiers struck terrorists inside their home. Terrorists and their guardians had not expected such action. They thought if India once did a surgical strike, they would again do something similar. So they had deployed forces along the border, but we went by air this time,” Modi said.


He said after the pre-dawn air strike on February 24, India was quietly monitoring the situation and it was Pakistan which started “crying” around 5.00 am that “Modi has hit us”.


“They were thinking they can keep wounding India, wage attacks, proxy wars and India would not respond. The reason that enemies of India had this thought was (because of ) the attitude of the ‘remote-controlled’ government prior to 2014. That is why they (enemies) could nurture this attitude,” the prime minster said.


He said some politicians are making controversial statements which elicit applause in Pakistan and asked the people to identify such persons and decide if they want to trust them or not.


Aaj har bhrasht ko Modi se kasht hai (Today every corrupt has a problem with Modi). There is a competition among them to abuse this chowkidar (watchman), they think abusing me will get them votes,” Modi said. — PTI


14:46  Mediation won’t solve Ayodhya dispute, need ordinance: Shiv Sena:  

Ram Janmabhoomi is an emotional issue and cannot be resolved through mediation, the Shiv Sena said on Saturday, asking the Centre to promulgate an ordinance and start the construction of Ram temple.


When the country’s politicians, rulers and the Supreme Court have not been able to resolve the issue so far, what would the three mediators do, the party asked.


Giving another chance for mediation, the apex court had on Friday ordered the setting up a three-member panel headed by a former SC judge F M I Kalifulla to explore a possible settlement of the decades-old politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute in Ayodhya.

Spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, well known for his mediation experience, will be the other two members of the panel.


The Sena said the apex court has deferred a decision on the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute and the matter will now be decided only after the Lok Sabha elections.

“The only question is that if the issue could be resolved through mediation, why did the dispute continue for 25 years and why hundreds of people had to lose their lives?” it asked in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana.


“The country’s politicians, rulers and the Supreme Court have not been able to resolve the issue and what would the mediators achieve now.”


“If the protesters did not want mediation on the issue for all these years, why is the Supreme Court trying to do it now? Ayodhya is not just an issue of land, but is an emotional one. It has been experienced that mediation and arbitration do not work in such sensitive matters,” it said.


14:17  UK home secy sent Nirav Modi’s extradition request to court: Sources:  

The United Kingdom’s home secretary has recently referred India’s request for extraditing bank-fraud accused Nirav Modi to a court for initiating legal proceedings against the diamantaire, official sources said Saturday.


A British daily reported that Modi, accused in the USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, is living in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in London’s West End and is now involved in a new diamond business.


Sources in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said they had been officially informed about UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s move to forward the case to a London court about two days back.


This move takes the process of extraditing and bringing back Modi to face the law in India to the next stage, the sources said.


Soon, they said, a joint team of the ED and the CBI would travel to the UK to apprise the lawyers about the Indian case and evidence against Modi, in a similar fashion that was done in the case of another absconding bank-fraud accused, Vijay Mallya.


The ED and the CBI are investigating Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others for alleged money laundering and corruption to perpetrate the alleged scam in the Brady House branch of the PNB in Mumbai that was unearthed last year.


Modi, 48, is currently living in a three-bedroom flat occupying half of a floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, where rent is estimated to cost 17,000 pounds a month, The Telegraph reported.


The revelation comes a day after Modi’s 30,000 sq ft seaside mansion at Kihim beach in Maharashtra’s Raigad district was demolished by authorities using explosives for alleged violation of coastal regulation rules. — PTI


14:15  Karnataka CM meets Modi; seeks early release of Rs 2,064 cr drought relief:  

Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy Saturday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought early release of Rs 2,064.30 crore funds to provide relief to drought-hit farmers in the ongoing rabi season, an official statement said.


Kumaraswamy informed Modi that the state faced drought situation during this year’s kharif season as well but the financial assistance sanctioned by the central government was inadequate.


In addition to floods, Karnataka reeled under severe drought both during kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons of the 2018-19 crop year (July-June).


“Consecutive droughts, flood has brought farmers under distress and it is the time to rush to their aid,” Kumaraswamy told the Prime Minister.


He requested Modi to expedite the process to release Rs 2,064.30 crore for drought relief and mitigation, the statement said.

The state government has submitted a memorandum seeking Rs 2,064.30 crore drought relief fund for the ongoing rabi season as crop loss is estimated to be Rs 11,384.7 crore. The state has declared drought in 156 out of 176 talukas.


In the meeting, Kumaraswamy apprised the Prime Minister about the pro-active steps taken to mitigate the drought impact on farmers.


The state has released Rs 386 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and given priority to ensure drinking water and fodder, besides creating 1.19 crore man-days jobs under the MGNREGA scheme, he added.


The state government has advanced Rs 1,351 crore towards payment of pending wage and material bills in anticipation of release of central funds, Kumaraswamy said and requested for early release of funds to make further wage payments.


13:17  Thief returned documents: Chidambaram on ‘stolen’ Rafale files:  

Taking a swipe at Attorney General K K Venugopal’s fresh remark on Rafale documents, senior Congress leader P Chidambram on Saturday said that from “stolen documents” they became “photocopied documents” as the “thief” may have returned them.


His jibe came a day after the attorney general said that the Rafale documents were not stolen from the defence ministry and that what he meant in his submission before the Supreme Court on Wednesday was that petitioners in the application used “photocopies of the original” papers, deemed secret by the government.


“On Wednesday, it was ‘stolen documents’. On Friday, it was ‘photocopied documents’. I suppose the thief returned the documents in between on Thursday,” Chidambaram said in a series of tweets.


“On Wednesday, the Official Secrets Act was shown to the newspaper. On Friday, the ‘Olive Branches Act’ was shown. We salute common sense,” the former finance minister said.


Venugopal’s comments in the apex court on Wednesday that Rafale fighter jet deal documents were stolen had caused a political row, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeting the government over stealing of such sensitive papers and seeking a criminal investigation.


Venugopal had sought dismissal of a petition for a review of the Supreme Court’s earlier judgment on the Rafale deal on the ground that the fresh plea relied on documents “stolen” from the Defence Ministry and that investigations were going on to find out if it was a crime and violative of the Official Secrets Act.


“I am told that the opposition has alleged what was argued (in SC) was that files had been stolen from the Defence Ministry. This is wholly incorrect. The statement that files have been stolen is wholly incorrect,” Venugopal told PTI on Friday, in an apparent damage-control exercise.


The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday sparred over the attorney general’s fresh remarks, with the opposition party dubbing it a “lie” and the ruling party slamming Gandhi for his attack on the government over the issue.  

13:08  Indian envoy to Pakistan back in Islamabad :  

Indian high commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria reached Islamabad on Saturday and will resume office soon, sources said.

Bisaria, who had been recalled to New Delhi for consultations last month following the Pulwama terror attack, will articulate India’s expectations from Pakistan with emphasis and more directly, sources added.

The Indian high commissioner will also engage on urgent issues not only with Pakistan but with diplomats of other countries in Islamabad.

Bisaria who had been recalled to New Delhi last month returned to Islamabad upon the completion of consultations in India.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s high commissioner to India, Sohail Mahmood, is also expected to reach New Delhi on Saturday. 

Pakistan too had recalled Mahmood to Islamabad for consultations on February 18.

Tensions have been high between the two neighbours following the Pulwama attack for which Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility. — ANI


12:56  PM Modi is there, so it is possible: Cong on Nirav Modi’s London video:  

Slamming the Modi government over a news report that fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi was living in a swanky apartment in London, the Congress Saturday alleged fugitives had looted Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian banks but not even one has been caught in five years.


The British daily Telegraph reported that billionaire diamond tycoon, accused in the USD 2 billion the Punjab National Bank fraud case, has been tracked down by it to an 8 million pound apartment in London’s West End.

“Fugitive Nirav Modi has been seen enjoying in London, living in a Rs 75 crore flat and wearing a 10,000 pound jacket,” Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.


“First loot Rs 23,000 crore from banks, then run away from the country without any checks, mock the CBI and the ED and then make a comfortable home in a Rs 75 crore flat. (Narendra) Modi is there, so it is possible,” he claimed.


It seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi is running a “bank fraudsters settlement company” for the likes of Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, Surjewala alleged.


“Fugitives looted Rs 1 lakh crore from Indian banks but you have not even caught one in the last five years,” he claimed. — PTI  


12:52  Trade deal with China only if it is good for US: Trump:  

Amidst reports of negotiations for a deal with china hitting a bump, President Donald Trump has said that he will enter into a trade deal with Beijing only if he is confident that it is good for the US.


But he also told reporters at the White House on Friday that he is confident of entering into a trade deal with China.


The world’s two largest economies are locked in a trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March last year, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war. 


Trump imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on USD 250 billion of Chinese goods. In response, China, the world’s second largest economy after the US, imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on USD 110 billion of American goods.

Top trade officials from America and China are holding talks to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal.


“I am confident. But if we don’t make a very good deal for our country, I wouldn’t make a deal,” Trump told reporters. “If this isn’t a great deal, I won’t make a deal.”


In the absence of a trade deal, Trump has threatened to impose additional tariffs on import of Chinese products into the US.


Last month the US President had said that he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are planning to meet at his Florida resort in Mar-a-Lago to give a final shape to the trade deal, which is being negotiated between the two countries for past several months now.


However, after the collapse of the North Korea summit in Vietnam where Trump walked out of his meeting with Chairman Kim Jong-Un, the US president has not spoken about it. 


Taken aback by Trump’s decision to walk away from the summit with North Korean in Hanoi, China now wants the summit as a mere signature ceremony and finalise everything before that.

According to The Wall Street Journal report on Friday, a US-China trade accord is facing a new roadblock, as Chinese officials balk at committing to a presidential summit until the two countries have a firm deal in hand.


“What Chinese minister wants to say, ‘Yes, Xi Jinping. Go to the US for a visit, which isn’t a state visit, and hope that Trump doesn’t embarrass you'” Evan Medeiros, a Georgetown University scholar who was a senior China adviser to President Barack Obama was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal. — PTI

12:44  Jagdish Mukhi sworn in as Governor of Mizoram:  

Jagdish Mukhi was on Saturday sworn-in as the Governor of Mizoram at a simple function at the Raj Bhavan in Aizawl.

Gauhati high court judge, Justice Nelson Sailo administered the oath of office to Mukhi.

Mukhi is also the Governor of Assam.

He succeeded Kummanam Rajasekharan as the governor of Mizoram as the latter resigned on Thursday and his resignation was accepted by the President Ram Nath Kovind who appointed Mukhi to take additional charge of Mizoram. — PTI 


12:10  EC to review poll readiness today:  

The Election Commission today to hold a key meeting to finalise modalities the high-voltage Lok Sabha elections.

The meeting will be chaired by chief election commissioner Sunil Arora. 

Two other election commissioners and other officials of the poll commission will attend the meeting. 

Earlier, a senior Election Commission functionary said the poll panel is now prepared to announce the dates “any day”.

There is a strong possibility that the EC may go by the precedent and hold assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh along with the Lok Sabha polls.

The term of the present Lok Sabha ends on June 3.

In 2014, the EC had announced the election schedule on March 5 and the nine-phase electoral exercise was spread across April and May.

Image: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, flanked by election commissioners Ashok Lavasa, left, and Sushil Chandra, addresses a press conference in Lucknow, on Friday. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo


11:44  Is Pakistan defending Jaish-e-Mohammed, asks India :  

In a strong statement against Pakistan, the government today said that Islamabad has not shown serious intent to address the concerns of India and the international community when it comes to reining in terror groups operating from its soil.

“It is regrettable that Pakistan still continues to deny Jaish-e-Mohammed’s own claim of taking ownership of Pulwama attack. Pakistan foreign minister said, ‘they (Jaish-e-Mohammed) have not claimed responsibility of the attack, there is some confusion’ Is Pakistan defending the JeM?,” asked ministry of external affairsspokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a press briefing.

“If Pakistan claims to be a naya Pakistan (new Pakistan) with a nayi soch (new thinking), it should demonstrate naya action (new action) against terror groups operating from its soil,” Kumar said.

Kumar also said that the United States is examining Pakistan’s use of F-16 fighter jet aircraft against India.

“There are eyewitness accounts and electronic evidence that Pakistan deployed F-16 aircraft and that one F-16 was shot down by  Wing Commander Abhinandan. We have asked the US to also examine whether the use of F-16 against India is in accordance with terms and conditions of sale,” Kumar said. 


10:53  Modi to contest from Varanasi, BJP does away with ‘Above 75’ rule:  

In a hope to continue his winning streak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to contest from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi seat again in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The second seat will be finalised later.

A decision in this regard was taken at BJP Parliamentary Board meeting on Friday, which was held for nearly three hours to discuss key poll-related issues. The prime minister had defeated Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal with over 3 lakh votes in the last elections, while Congress candidate Ajay Rai was way behind with just 75,000 votes.

Besides the seat for PM Modi, the BJP members also came to a conclusion that there will be no blanket ban on leaders above 75 years of age. Any candidate who is capable of winning, even if he or she is above 75, will be given a ticket, a source close to the development said.

After the 2014 victory, PM Modi-led party changed its rules for party members, which included retirement from active politics after 75 and diminishing chances of getting party tickets after reaching 70. However, this year the norms seem to have been amended again as several prominent BJP faces will be ruled out if the party chooses to stick with the 2014 rule.

This includes 91-year-old LK Advani, 85-year-old Murli Manohar Joshi and 77-year-old Kalraj Mishra.

10:25  Reports of army jawan missing incorrect, clarifies defence ministry:  

The defence ministry on Saturday clarified that no soldier has been abducted contrary to reports that an army jawan has been kidnapped by terrorists while on leave from Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district.

“Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam (J-K) are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided,” said the defence ministry.

On Friday night, reports emerged that an army jawan was kidnapped by terrorists while he was on leave and at his residence in Qazipora, Chadoora in Budgam.

The army jawan was reported missing from on Friday evening with police suspecting he could have been abducted by a terror group.

This comes at a time when Kashmir is simmering with tensions ever since the Pulwama terror attack by a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist, which killed 40 CRPF jawans.


10:11  Stop misuse Of Armed Forces’ work in polls: Ex-Navy chief to EC:  

Former Navy chief Admiral L Ramdas (retired) has asked immediate intervention of the Election Commission in stopping political parties from using the Pulwama attack, Balakot air strike and Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s operations to influence the electorate.

In an open letter to Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Admiral Ramdas expressed concerns on “recent instances” of parties using armed forces’ heroics for political gains.

“With elections due in a few weeks from now, it is particularly important that there should not be any misuse of these recent events by any political party to send triumphalist or jingoistic messages which can influence the electorate,” he said.

In his two-page letter, the former navy chief said the armed forces have always prided themselves on belonging to a structure, an ethos and an environment which have been both apolitical and secular.

“And it is in this context that as a responsible citizen and a proud veteran of the Indian Armed Forces, I share our collective sense of dismay and deep concern at how some political parties are brazenly pushing their agenda using images, uniforms and other examples, showing pictures of the armed forces with political figures, in public spaces, in media, election rallies and so on,” he said.

The former navy chief said it was completely unacceptable since it has the potential to destroy the very foundations and value system of the armed forces, drawn from the vision, the spirit and intent of the Constitution.

He said he could not circulate the open letter for more signatures “although many veterans are duly agitated by these attempts to compromise the integrity and secular nature of the Indian Armed Forces”.

“We, therefore, urge the Election Commission to immediately intervene and send a strong message to the political parties that there should be no misuse of the photographs as indeed any other material/reports or other information pertaining to the armed forces for electioneering in any way,” he said.


09:23  Nirav Modi spotted in London, has started new diamond business: Report:  

Fugitive billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi, one of the prime accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, has been tracked down to the United Kingdom.

The 48-year-old most wanted man now lives in an 8 million apartment in London’s West End and is now involved in a new diamond business, UK-based newspaper The Telegraph has reported.

The UK daily has also released a video of Nirav Modi walking freely on the streets of London.

With a handle-bar moustache, longer hair and a jacket, Nirav Modi is not easily recognisable.

As he is confronted by the newspaper over allegations levelled against him, Nirav Modi says “no comments” as he continues to smile.

The intel agencies had earlier provided input the Nirav Nodi had changed his appearance to disguise people.

An extradition request against Nirav Modi is pending since September last year before the UK authorities.

Recently, the Enforcement Directorate attached properties of Nirav Modi worth 147.72 crore in connection with the 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.

The attached properties belong to Nirav Modi’s – Firestar Diamond International Private Limited, Firestar International Private Limited, Radheshir Jewelry Company Private Limited and Rhythm House Private Limited. 


08:47  NDA government did not create jobs, lied about it: Chidambaram slams Modi:  

Repeating his view that unemployment will be the most important issue in upcoming Lok Sabha elections, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram accused PM Modi of “lying” about jobs.

He alleged that not only the government is guilty of not creating jobs, but also lying about it.

Congress has been attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue of unemployment for a long time. However, the intensity of criticism increased after data from National Sample Survey Office became public. NSSO survey showed that unemployment rate in the country is at 45-year-high at 6.1 per cent.

Chidambaram has underlined again and again that this is a very serious matter and that the issue of unemployment will be the one on which Lok Sabha elections will be fought.


08:15  Service rifle of policeman snatched at gunpoint in JK’s Kishtwar:  

Suspected terrorists on Friday snatched the service rifle of a policeman in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district, officials said. 


The policeman is posted as a personnel security officer of district development commissioner, Kishtwar, Angrez Singh Rana. 

PSO Daleep Kumar claimed that some masked gunmen intruded into his residence at Shaheedi Mazar area of the town late night and decamped with his AK-47 rifle and mobile phone after threatening him and his family, the officials said. 

They said the area was immediately cordoned off and a massive hunt has been launched to nab the gunmen and recover the looted weapon. 

The PSO was being questioned, the officials said adding further details are awaited. 

Suspected terrorists killed a senior BJP leader and his brother in the town in November last year. The case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency but the culprits are still at large.



08:06  Rafale documents not stolen, petitioners used photocopies: AG:  

Attorney General K K Venugopal claimed the Rafale documents were not stolen from the defence ministry and that what he meant in his submission before the Supreme Court was that petitioners in the application used “photocopies of the original” papers, deemed secret by the government.


His comments in the apex court on Wednesday that Rafale fighter jet deal documents were stolen caused a political row, with Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeting the government over stealing of such sensitive papers and seeking a criminal investigation.

“I am told that the opposition has alleged what was argued (in SC) was that files had been stolen from the defence ministry. This is wholly incorrect. The statement that files have been stolen is wholly incorrect,” he said, in an apparent damage-control exercise.

Venugopal said the application filed by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushant, seeking from the court a review of its verdict dismissing pleas for a probe into against the Rafale deal, had annexed three documents which were photocopies of the original.

Official sources said the AG’s use of word stolen was probably “stronger” and could have been avoided.

The government had also warned The Hindu newspapers with a case under Official Secrets Act for publishing articles based on these documents. 



00:24  ‘Hadd Sarhad Ki’: IAF mocks Pakistan with a poem :  

Amid tensions between New Delhi and Pakistan after Indian fighter jets bombed a camp of terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad in that country, the IAF on Friday tweeted a poem whose lines can be construed as a jibe at 



Through its twitter handle @IAF_MCC, the Indian Air Force tweeted the Hindi poem ‘Hadd Sarhad Ki’ penned by Bipin Allhabadi. 

The first two lines of the poem read, “Today, someone has crossed borders/Because someone has crossed all limits.”

The tweet also had a picture of a fighter jet in the background.

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared up after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district 

on February 14.

India launched a counter-terror operation in Balakot on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 and captured its pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was handed over to 

India on March 1. — PTI 

Source: Rediff