10:56 Justice Pinaki Ghose takes oath as India’s first Lokpal:
Justice Pinaki Ghose takes oath as the first Lokpal of India.
He was administered the oath by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi were also present.
Justice Ghose was on Tuesday appointed as the country’s first Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman. — ANI/Agencies
10:39 2 dead after landslide hits truck in J-K’s Doda:
Two persons were killed when their truck was hit by a landslide in this hilly district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Saturday.
The truck was on its way from Thathri to Gandoh and the accident occurred at Piykul Kara, 37 km from Doda, on Friday night, a police official said.
He said the landslide hit the vehicle, burying alive two of its occupants — driver Shahzad Hussain, 27, of Bhadarwah and conductor Arif Hussain, 22, of Kishtwar district.
While the driver’s body was retrieved from the spot around 3 am, the other body was recovered around 7 am, the official said, adding that both the bodies were shifted to a trauma centre Thathri for completion of formalities. — PTI
10:23 Karnataka suspends Ola Cabs’ licence for 6 months; company says ‘unfortunate’:
The Karnataka government’s s transport department on Friday suspended Ola Cabs’ aggregator licence for a period of six months starting March 18.
The transport aggregator has been charged with running bike taxis in
violation of license conditions and rules prescribed by the government.
The company termed the decision ‘unfortunate’ while reaffirming that the company is ‘evaluating all options to find an amicable solution’ for its driver-partners in Karnataka to continue working.
‘We have been closely working with the authorities on this topic, responding to queries and making proactive representations to the ministry.
‘Despite other companies continuing to operate illegally, Ola halted our bike taxi experiment weeks ago, instead seeking the state’s cooperation to develop a legal framework for a pilot that will continue to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the mobility economy,’ the company said in a statement.
‘This notification is unfortunate, and we look forward to an opportunity to address these concerns directly with state officials to find a solution for our driver-partners and millions of Ola users in Karnataka,’ it added.
The Karnataka government noted that Ola’s response to a probe it carried out regarding illegal operation of bike taxis was not satisfactory, thus forcing it to serve a notice to the app-based cab aggregator. — ANI
09:39 Dharwad building collapse toll mounts to 15:
At least 15 people have lost their lives due to the collapse of an under-construction building in Dharwad on Tuesday.
“It has been more than 72 hours, the operation is still on. Till now, the death toll is 15,” Sunil Agarwal, Additional Director General of Police (Fire and Emergency Services), Karnataka told ANI.
An FIR was registered on Friday against five people, including owners of the four-storeyed building situated in Kumareshwar Nagar, namely Basavraj Nigadi, Ravi Sabrad, Mahabaleshwar Puradgudi and Gangappa Shintre, and an engineer Vivek Pawar.
While the four partners of Renuka Construction surrendered before the police, Vivek Pawar was taken into custody from Maharashtra’s Kolhapur.
Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had visited the site on Thursday and told the media in Dharwad that several people were suspected to be trapped under the rubble.
He had also said the district administration has already announced a magisterial inquiry and the government is ready to appoint a retired High Court judge if required.
On Wednesday, the Indian Air Force airlifted two teams of the National Disaster Response Force to Karnataka’s Hubli from Hindon in Uttar Pradesh to join the rescue and search operation.
The rescue operation is being conducted jointly by the NDRF and the State Disaster Response Force. — ANI
09:08 Cong announces 35 more candidates; Raj Babbar’s seat changed:
The Congress on Friday released the seventh list of its 35 candidates for the April-May Lok Sabha election and shifted Uttar Pradesh state unit chief Raj Babbar from Moradabad to Fatehpur Sikri, the party said in a statement.
The party has nominated Imran Pratapgarhiya from Moradabad where Babbar’s candidature was announced earlier.
The party fielded former Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury from Khammam in Telangana.
The party also fielded Vikramaditya Singh, the son of former Union Minister Karan Singh, from Udhampur constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Congress also released a list of 54 candidates for Odisha Assembly election. — PTI
08:36 BJP releases 2nd list; Sambit Patra to contest from Puri:
The Bharatiya Janata Party has released its second list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls containing 36 names, which included 23 nominees for Andhra Pradesh where polling will be held in the first phase on April 11.
The list announced late on Friday night also contained names of six candidates for Maharashtra and five for Odisha.
Also, one candidate each for Assam and Meghalaya has been announced in the list.
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra will contest the general election from Puri parliamentary constituency in Odisha. — PTI
00:12 Pak army resorts to fresh ceasefire violation in Poonch:
Pakistani troops on Friday resorted to fresh mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, while two Army soldiers were injured in overnight shelling from across the border in Jammu and Rajouri districts, officials said.
“At about 1545 hours, Pakistani army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by shelling with mortars and firing of small arms along LoC in Mendhar Sector in Poonch district,” PRO defence said.
The Indian Army is retaliating befittingly, he said.
Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, Army Commander, Northern Command accompanied by White Knight Corps Commander Lt Gen Paramjit Singh on Friday visited forward posts in Rajouri and Reasi sectors to interact with soldiers and review the operational preparedness.
Pakistani troops continued night-long mortar shelling and firing in Pallanwala, Sunderbani and Nowshera sectors, officials said.
The two Army jawans, who were injured in Pallanwala sector, were admitted to a hospital, they said.
On Thursday, an Army jawan was killed as Pakistani troops shelled forward areas and Indian posts with artillery and mortar bombs along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district. — PTI