Pakistan says allegations are ‘baseless’
“Conclusive evidence” had linked the three gunmen who attacked a police station in Gurdaspur on Monday to Pakistan, the Central government claimed on Thursday. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Rajya Sabha that an analysis of data recovered from the militants’ GPS units showed that they had infiltrated India through the Punjab border with Pakistan. However, Islamabad said that the charges were “baseless” and described Singh’s statement as a “threat to peace and security in the region”. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the External Affairs Ministry would take a call on whether to cancel the upcoming high-level talks with Pakistan. At least seven people were killed and 15 injured during the 12-hour-long gun battle between the assailants and security forces in Gurdaspur on Monday.

Digvijaya Singh condemns Memon execution
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday said that the credibility of the Narendra Modi-led Central government and the judiciary was at stake following the execution of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon. In a series of tweets posted after Memon was hanged at a jail in Nagpur, Singh called on the government and the courts to display the same “exemplary urgency and commitment” in all related cases, regardless of the religion of those accused in the cases. Separately, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor questioned the effectiveness of the death penalty, saying that he was saddened by the news that the government had “hanged a human being”. The Bharatiya Janata Party criticised the two politicians for their “irresponsible” remarks.

Centre hopes to break Parliament logjam
The Central government was considering calling an all-party meeting to discuss the logjam in Parliament, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday. The move came after Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan failed to obtain an assurance from the Congress that the party would stop disrupting the House. Mahajan said that she had sought a consensus from all parties against “undignified” modes of protest during an all-party meeting she had called. However, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the party would not allow the Lok Sabha to function unless several Union and state Chief Ministers resigned from their posts for their alleged involvement in a range controversies.

Pakistan has violated ceasefire 1,140 times
Pakistan had committed 1,140 ceasefire violations since 2013, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Thursday. The primary focus of the violations is along the international boundary with India rather than the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, he said. In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Parrikar said that there had been 347 ceasefire violations in 2013. Last year, there were 583 violations. He added that 199 more violations had been recorded by Indian security forces till the end of June this year. The statistics have been released days before talks between the National Security Advisers of the countries.

CBI court issues notice to CVC director
A special Central Bureau of Investigation court on Thursday issued a notice to the Director of the Central Vigilance Commission in a case relating to the allocation of a coal block in Chhattisgarh. Hearing the closure report filed by the CBI in the case, the court observed that since the First Information Report was registered on the basis of a reference received by CVC Director Keshav Rao, it was appropriate to seek his response. The CBI had registered a case against officials from Prakash Industries Limited as well as officials from the coal ministry, alleging that the firm had misrepresented its net worth while applying for a coal block. However, the agency later filed the closure report, saying that no evidence had been found against any of the accused.