Gopinath Munde dies in road accident; funeral on Wednesday
Union Rural Development Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Gopinath Munde died in a road accident in New Delhi on Tuesday morning. Munde was on his way to the Delhi airport when a car collided with the one in which he was travelling. Munde sustained multiple injuries and a cardiac arrest that led to his death. The Delhi Police said they had arrested the driver of the other car and were investigating possible conspiracy angles to the case. Munde's funeral will be held at 4.30 pm today in Parali, a village in Maharashtra from which his family hails.
Jayalalithaa presents demands to Modi
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to present him with a 65-page memorandum of demands. These included additional resources for Tamil Nadu and raising the water level of the Mullaperiyar Dam. Asked if the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam would support the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government, Jayalalithaa said that there was no such proposal. Regarding her party supporting the NDA in the Rajya Sabha, Jayalalithaa said she would decide when the situation arises. The AIADMK has 37 Lok Sabha and 10 Rajya Sabha seats.
Family of abducted Indian priest in Afghanistan reaches out to Centre
The family of Indian priest Alexis Prem Kumar, who was abducted by armed gunmen in Afghanistan's Herat province on Monday, has approached the Tamil Nadu government and the Centre to help secure his release. Prem Kumar is the Afghan head of the Jesuit Refugee Service – an NGO that works with Afghan refugee children – and had been working in Afghanistan for the past three years. While reports confirmed that no ransom calls have been received yet, Herat's provincial governor Fazelullah Wahidi said that efforts were being made to get Prem Kumar to safety.
India begins evacuating citizens from Ukraine
As the situation in Ukraine deteriorated, with pro-Russian separatists engaging Ukrainian government forces in an armed battle, India has begun evacuating its nationals, numbering at least 1,000, mostly students. The Indian embassy in Ukraine has reportedly made arrangements to transport its citizens from Lugansk, which has seen a lot of violence recently, to the capital Kiev, from where they can take flights to India. India also issued an advisory last week asking its nationals to leave Donetsk and Lugansk, which have witnessed frequent clashes.
Markets end at record highs as RBI keeps interest rates steady
The country's two benchmark share indexes, the National Stock Exchange Nifty and the Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex, both saw gains worth several points before ending on record highs on Tuesday. The Nifty touched 7,425 during the day and ended above 7,400 for the first time at 7,416, while the Sensex ended at a record closing high of 24,859 after having touched 24,892. The gains were attributed to the Reserve Bank of India's decision to keep the repo rate unchanged at 8% in its bi-monthly policy review, while reducing the Statutory Liquidity Ratio by 50 basis points.
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