Category Archives: India News

The many probes over the Hathras crime

  • CBI’s case: The CBI on Sunday took over the investigation into the alleged gang rape and assault that led to the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. It registered an FIR against main accused Sandeep under sections 376D (gang rape), 307 (attempt to murder) and 302 (murder) of the IPC and Section 3 of the SC/ST Act (offences of atrocities), reports TOI. But it later removed a press statement it had issued and the link to the FIR from its website.

  • UP Police’s case: The Uttar Pradesh police continues to probe the cases that it had registered alleging a conspiracy to malign the state government. Several police teams from Mathura have been dispatched to Malappuram district in Kerala and elsewhere to investigate the journalist and three others booked under the anti-terror law UAPA and charged with sedition for allegedly conspiring to cause caste riots in the state. The four accused — Siddiqui Kappan, a journalist with a Malayalam-language news site in Delhi, Atikur Rahman of Muzaffarnagar, Masood Ahmad from Bahraich and Aalam from Rampur — were detained on October 5 while on their way to Hathras.

  • The court’s case: The family of the victim is to give their statement at the Allahabad High Court on Monday. The court had taken suo motu cognisance of the case after the UP Police conducted the girl’s cremation in the dead of the night allegedly without the family’s consent.

  • More probes: Madhya Pradesh’s Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College has initiated an enquiry into the conduct of Dr Rajkumari Bansal, a forensic specialist from the institute who according to some media outlets was living with the victim’s family “posing as a relative”. The reports alleged she had links with Naxalism. The college said she “went on leave without information”.

Top 10 India news today

Today: Fourth and last phase of panchayat elections in Rajasthan; IPL — KXIP vs KKR, CSK vs RCB; French Open women’s singles final; 

Tomorrow: IPL — SRH vs RR, MI vs DC; French Open men’s singles final

1. RBI does the heavy lifting, again

The Reserve Bank of India left key interest rates unchanged on Friday but signalled more easing ahead to support an economy.

2. Now, NIA has an 83-year-old ‘conspirator’

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a chargesheet against eight people, including activists Gautam Navlakha and 83-year-old social and tribal rights activist Stan Swamy (he was arrested only a few hours before chargesheet was filed), for their alleged involvement in inciting a mob to violence in Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1, 2018.

3. A Covid ‘revelation’ from China

China on Friday claimed that the coronavirus broke out in the various parts of the world last year but it was the only one to have reported and acted first. That refutes the widely-held view that the deadly contagion originated in Wuhan before turning out to be a pandemic.

Friday’s count:

Cases: 73,357; Overall: 6,975,380

Recoveries: 5,978,381; Recovery rate: 85.7%.

Deaths: 934, below 1000-mark for 7th consecutive day; Overall: 107,388

4. World Food Programme wins Peace Nobel

The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the United Nations agency for its efforts to combat hunger and improve conditions for peace in areas affected by conflict. The Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) estimates it helps about 97 million people a year in 88 countries and that one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat.

5. Is this the best time to send these kids home?

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) the rationale behind its letter which directed eight states, accounting for over 70% of children in care homes, to ensure their return to their families.

In the letter issued on September 24, NCPCR had said that it is the right of every child to grow up in a familial environment. It said the decision to send children home was taken keeping in view the concerns over their safety and security in these institutions. Those who could not be sent back to their families, preferably within a 100-day period, must be placed for adoption or in foster homes, it had said.

6. India gets a ‘stealth’ missile

India successfully test-fired its New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (NGARM), Rudram-1, on Friday, which can allow it to take down enemy radars and surveillance systems, allowing IAF fighter jets to penetrate deep into enemy territory unhindered.

7. Big 2 confirm French Open summit clash

Defending champion Rafael Nadal (left in pic) swept into the 2020 French Open final, beating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0) on Friday. Gaining revenge for his Rome quarter-final loss to the Argentine, Nadal landed 38 winners and converted six of nine breakpoints, while saving three breakpoints in a tense 11th game (lasting 12 minutes) in the third set.

8. That’s most un-Sharjahlike!

The story: The pitch at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium has been a batting paradise this IPL, what with short boundaries. The top six innings totals have come at the ground, with all teams (barring Sunrisers Hyderabad) having touched the 200-run landmark. The average first innings total in Sharjah this IPL, before Friday, was 219.

And so, Rajasthan Royals (RR) — who had won both their matches here — would have been confident keeping Delhi Capitals (DC) to a below-par score, thanks to Messrs Archer and Tewatia and some crucial run-outs. In fact, the target was 32 fewer than what RR chased down emphatically the other night against Kings XI Punjab.

The scorecard: DC 184/8 (Hetmyer 45, Archer 3-24) beat RR 138 (Rabada 3-35, Ashwin 2-22) by 46 runs.

9. A bail for Lalu but he’ll still miss polls

The Jharkhand High Court on Friday granted bail to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.67 crore from the Chaibasa treasury when he was the chief minister of undivided Bihar.

However, Lalu will continue to remain in jail at least until November 9, when his bail plea in another case related to the Dumka treasury comes up for hearing. He has been convicted and jailed in the case for 14 years.

10. Manipulation of Television Rating Points: How TRPs work, the scam

Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said on Thursday that police are looking into a scam about manipulation of TRPs (Television Rating Points) by rigging the devices used by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, which has the mandate to measure television audience in India.

Reference: TOI

India’s food minister Ram Vilas Paswan dies at 74

In his long political career, Paswan worked with many Indian prime ministers and served several portfolios.

Veteran Indian politician Ram Vilas Paswan, a federal minister and an ally of Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s ruling coalition, died on Thursday after weeks in hospital, his son Chirag Pawsan said in a tweet. He was 74.

Paswan, India’s Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, was admitted to a hospital in New Delhi on September 11 and underwent heart surgery on October 4.

In his role as food minister, Paswan oversaw the world’s biggest food welfare programme, under which the government gives cheap rice and wheat to India’s millions of poor people.

“I am saddened beyond words,” Modi said in a tweet reacting to news of his death. “There is a void in our nation that will perhaps never be filled.”

In his long political career, Paswan worked with many prime ministers and served as India’s mines, steel, and telecommunication and information minister among other portfolios.

As the chief of the Lok Janshakti (People’s Power) Party (LJP), Paswan joined Modi’s right-wing National Democratic Alliance (NDA) that swept India’s general election in 2014. The NDA was voted back to power with a bigger majority in 2019.

Paswan and his party represented India’s Dalits (formerly referred to as the “untouchables”), a socially disadvantaged community at the bottom of the country’s complex caste hierarchy.

Dalits make up about three-quarters of the majority Hindu population, that is about 80 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people.

Paswan’s LJP enjoys considerable support in his home state of Bihar in the east, where assembly elections will begin later this month.

His son, Chirag Paswan, a member of parliament, is leading the LJP in the three-phase vote for the state legislature.

Reference: Aljazeera

Rhea Chakraborty Shares WhatsApp Chats, Sushant Rajput’s Sister Counters

In a WhatsApp screenshot shared by Rhea Chakraborty, she said Sushant Singh Rajput wrote to her about his sister Priyanka Singh.

Actor Rhea Chakraborty has shared screenshots of WhatsApp messages to back her allegations that actor Sushant Singh Rajput had expressed concerns about his sister Priyanka Singh’s behaviour towards her.

Vikas Singh, the family lawyer of the actor who was found dead at his Mumbai flat in June, in an interview to the website Pinkvilla, had claimed that Ms Chakraborty had accused Priyanka Singh of molesting her, which led to friction between Mr Rajput and his sister.

In a WhatsApp screenshot shared by Ms Chakraborty, she said Mr Rajput wrote to her about his sister: “(To Priyanka) You do this, after the shameful act, making this a coverup to attract attention playing a victim card to the most non negotiable act of molestation under alcohol, well my dear sister, there is our mother and there is god that my mother stood for taught me things, and you have committed a crime according to that. If you’re blinded by your ego, God bless you because I’m not afraid and I will continue doing what I’ve done till now in bringing out the necessary changes in the world. Let the god and nature decide what ‘act’ is right now.”

In more WhatsApp messages, Ms Chakraborty alleged Mr Rajput was worried that Priyanka had been trying to influence his roommate Siddharth Pithani to drive a wedge between the couple.

In another screenshot, Ms Chakraborty shared what she claimed Mr Rajput wrote to her: “…My sister is now manipulating Sid bhai, playing a victim card trying to divert this entire thing (that you and I are letting go) into me physically punishing her for the act. It’s such a severe disappointment.”

Mr Rajput’s other sister Shweta Singh Kirti has denied Ms Chakraborty’s allegations that the siblings were not on good terms.

Shweta Singh Kirti posted videos on Facebook and Instagram of an interview where Mr Rajput is heard saying he is close to his sister Priyanka. “I’m close to everybody, but one of my sisters is very close to me because she gets me. The kinds of things we think are very similar,” Mr Rajput says in the video.

“He admits he was closest to his sister Priyanka (Sonu Di) because she gets him…” Shweta Singh Kirti wrote on the video post.

Mr Rajput’s family in Bihar has filed a police case against Ms Chakraborty, alleging she cheated him financially and drove him to suicide.

In his complaint to Bihar Police, Mr Rajput’s father alleged Ms Chakraborty illegally transferred ₹ 15 crore in tranches from his son’s account. The investigation is following the money trail, the Bihar Police has said.

The Mumbai Police has denied allegations that they did not act on a warning by the family of Mr Rajput of a threat to him. The police said Mr Rajput’s brother-in-law, who is a police officer, had been using his influence to sort out the actor’s lack of contact with his family, allegedly at the behest of Ms Chakraborty.

Mr Rajput’s family has asked the Supreme Court not to transfer the police case from Patna to Mumbai, as sought by Ms Chakraborty. The case is now being handled by the CBI. A separate probe into alleged money laundering is going on under the Enforcement Directorate.

Reference: NDTV

Death toll from Indian passenger aircraft accident rises to 18

The death toll from an Indian passenger aircraft accident has risen to 18, while 16 people have been seriously injured, a senior government official said on Saturday.

The Air India Express plane, which was repatriating Indians stranded in Dubai due to the coronavirus pandemic, overshot the runway of the Calicut International Airport in heavy rain near the southern city of Kozhikode on Friday. It was India’s worst passenger aircraft accident since 2010.

The flight was carrying 190 passengers and crew.

The plane’s pilot and the co-pilot were killed in the accident, K Gopalakrishnan, chief of the Malappuram district in the southern state of Kerala, told Reuters.

All survivors were admitted to various hospitals and were also tested for COVID-19, Gopalakrishnan said, adding that autopsies of the dead would also be carried out according to the COVID-19 protocol.

Some 149 patients remain in hospital after some were discharged on Saturday, Gopalakrishnan said.

Authorities have also asked local people who rushed out to help the passengers trapped in the plane to go into quarantine.

TV actor Sameer Sharma found dead at Mumbai home, suicide suspected

TV actor Sameer Sharma, best known for his role in the TV serial Yeh Rishtey Hain Pyaar Ke, has reportedly died by suicide at the age of 44.

Sameer Sharma, a 44-year-old television actor, was found dead in his Malad apartment late on Wednesday night. Malad police officials said that the actor died by suicide.

An officer from Malad police station said, “The actor was staying at first floor of Neha CHS building, Ahinsa Marg in Malad (west). On Wednesday a security guard found him dead and alerted the society members.”

George Fernandes, senior inspector from Malad police station said, “We have registered a case of accidental death (ADR) and sent his body to a government hospital for autopsy.” According to police, he had rented the apartment in February. The investigation is ongoing.

The actor had also appeared in the shows Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Jyoti, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Du, and Left Right Left, among others. He is also listed as a cast member in films such as Hasee Toh Phasee and Ittefaq.

Sameer’s death was condoled by actors Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan. His last social media post, a picture of the sea, was shared on Instagram on July 29.

In 2020, several cases of suicide have been reported in the film and television industries, including Manmeet Grewal, Preksha Mehta, and Sushant Singh Rajput.