Former Biju Janata Dal leader Jay Panda joins BJP

Former Biju Janata Dal leader Baijayant “Jay” Panda on Monday said he has decided to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. Panda had resigned from the Biju Janata Dal on May 28.

Karnataka: Rebel Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav resigns, likely to join BJP

Karnataka Congress MLA Umesh Jadhav on Monday submitted his resignation to Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar. He was among the four rebel MLAs of the Congress who the party had last month sought action against, under the anti-defection law.

Air pollution from crop burning costs North India over $30 billion annually, finds study

Air pollution due to the burning of crop residue costs Punjab, Haryana and Delhi over $30 billion (around Rs 2.12 lakh crore) annually and increases the risk of acute respiratory infection three times, a study published on Monday found.

‘Why hasn’t a single Rafale jet been inducted into the IAF during Modi’s rule?’ asks Mayawati

Bahujan Samaj Party chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why the Rafale jet has not yet been inducted into the Indian Air Force.

‘Were you uprooting terrorists or trees?’ Navjot Singh Sidhu asks if air strikes were ‘poll gimmick’

Punjab minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu criticised the Centre, asking if the Indian strikes on a terror camp in Pakistan was just an “election gimmick”.

Bihar: Prashant Kishor apologises after NDA leaders fail to pay respects to CRPF jawan killed in J&K

Janata Dal (United) National Vice President Prashant Kishor on Sunday apologised on his party’s behalf after the Bihar government faced criticism for not paying homage to a Central Reserve Police Force jawan who died during an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir.

Samjhauta Express train service between India and Pakistan restored

Pakistan resumed the Samjhauta Express train service on Monday, days after the operations were suspended amid rising hostilities between New Delhi and Islamabad. The development follows the release of Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who was detained by Pakistan on February 27.

Air strike: IAF doesn’t calculate casualty numbers, Centre will clarify that, says Air chief marshal

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Monday refused to state the number of casualties from the cross-border air strike carried out by the Indian Air Force on February 26. “That statement will be made by the government, the air force is not in a position to clarify how many people were inside the target,” he told reporters in Coimbatore.

J&K: Pakistan allegedly violates ceasefire along LoC in Akhnoor sector, targets forward posts

Pakistani troops allegedly violated ceasefire by firing mortar shells and small arms at forward posts and villages along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor sector on Monday.

Jamaat-e-Islami ban: Schools, mosques run by the organisation won’t be affected, says J&K government

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday said that schools, mosques and orphanages affiliated to Jamaat-e-Islami have been kept outside the purview of the ban on the organisation. On February 27, the Centre declared the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir group an “unlawful association” for a period of five years for activities “prejudicial to internal security and public order”.

Train coach set on fire to recreate 2002 Godhra train burning for Narendra Modi biopic: Report

A train’s coach was set on fire on Sunday in Gujarat’s Vadodara to recreate the 2002 Godhra train burning for a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Western Railway and the Vadodara Fire Department reportedly had given permission to the producers of the biopic to shoot the scene. On February 27, 2002, coach S6 of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire at Godhra station and 59 people, most of them pilgrims returning from Ayodhya, died. The incident triggered communal riots across Gujarat in which close to 1,000 people were killed. Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat at the time.

Karnataka: Two people arrested for allegedly setting fire to forest at Bandipur Tiger Reserve

Forest officials in Karnataka have arrested two villagers for allegedly setting fire to forest land at Bandipur Tiger Reserve, burning down several hectares of land. Range Forest Officer of Gopalaswami Hill Limits Puttaswami H said the two men had lit a fire to stop tigers from entering their village.

PM Modi’s remarks on dyslexia ‘disrespectful and insensitive’, says disability rights group

A coalition of disability rights groups on Sunday criticised the “disrespectful and insensitive remarks” made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he took a covert jibe at Congress President Rahul Gandhi with an insensitive joke about people with dyslexia. Dyslexia is a learning difficulty which can cause trouble with reading, writing, and spelling. It is not a marker of intelligence or creativity.

CBI dismisses wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s sabotage theory in 2016 doping case: Report

Nearly three years after wrestler Narsingh Yadav was banned for a positive dope test ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Central Bureau of Investigation has reportedly dismissed the sabotage theory floated by him with support from the Wrestling Federation of India. Yadav had tested positive for a banned drug methandienone three weeks before the Rio Olympics.

Amit Shah is ‘milking air strikes for politics’, says Congress leader Manish Tewari

Congress leader and former Union Minister Manish Tewari on Monday accused Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah of using Indian Air Force’s cross-border air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammad’s terror camp for political gain. Tewari’s statement came a day after Shah claimed that more than 250 terrorists were killed in the operation.

Haryana: Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka transferred for the sixth time since 2014

The Haryana government on Sunday issued transfer and posting orders for nine Indian Administrative Service officers with immediate effect, including 1991-batch senior bureaucrat Ashok Khemka. Since the current BJP government came to power in the state in 2014, Khemka has been transferred six times. In his 27 years of active service, he has been transferred over 50 times.

Pakistan could attack Parliament if Modi is not PM again, claims Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday claimed Pakistan “could attack the Indian Parliament and Assam Assembly” if the Narendra Modi is not elected the prime minister again. He claimed that other political parties in the state are scared of those shouting “Pakistan Zindabad”.

UK’s Theresa May welcomes release of IAF pilot but urges Pakistan to act against terrorist groups

United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday lauded Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for his decision to release the Indian Air Force pilot who was captured on February 27 but also urged Islamabad to act against terror. In a telephonic conversation with Khan on Sunday, May welcomed his commitment to reduce tensions with India.

West Bengal: BJP workers stopped from holding bike rallies, clash with police in several cities

Several Bharatiya Janata Party workers were arrested after clashing with the police at different places in West Bengal on Sunday. The clashes took place after the saffron party was allegedly prevented from holding its “Vijay Sankalp” motorcycle rally in the run-up to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The rally is part of the BJP’s nationwide pre-poll exercise to establish contact with people.

Nagaland: Four miners die in an illegal coal mine in Longleng district

Four miners have died in an illegal rat-hole coal mine in Nagaland’s Longleng district. The open-cast mine is located in the Yonglok village on the Assam-Nagaland border and the miners who were killed have been identified to be Assamese. The police were informed about the deaths late on Saturday night.

More than 250 terrorists killed in air strike, claims BJP chief Amit Shah

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah on Sunday claimed that more than 250 terrorists were killed in last week’s cross-border air strike by the Indian Air Force. The strikes were carried out 12 days after the Pulwama suicide attack, in which 40 jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed on February 14.

IAF strikes: ‘Narendra Modi’s chest measures 156 inches, not 56 inches,’ says Ram Vilas Paswan

Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for handling the situation post the Pulwama suicide attack firmly. “Earlier, we used to say that the prime minister’s chest is 56 inches,” the Union minister said while addressing an NDA rally in Bihar’s Patna. “But, today, the Gandhi Maidan is honouring you by saying that Narendra Modi’s chest size is not 56 inches, but 156 inches.”

US: TV show host Trevor Noah apologises for comments on India-Pakistan tensions

Comedian and host of American TV show The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, has apologised after a Twitter user accused him of mocking the India-Pakistan tensions. In an episode of The Daily Show, Noah said if the two countries go to war, then it would be the “most entertaining war of all time” and that “it would also be the longest war of all time – another dance number!” Noah suggested that Indian soldiers going to war would be like a musical.