Muzaffarpur shelter home case: Delhi court sets March 18 for framing of charges

A Delhi court on Wednesday set March 18 as the date for the framing of charges in the Muzaffarpur shelter home sexual assault case. Additional Sessions Judge Saurabh Kulshreshtha passed the order. There are 21 people who are chargesheeted in the case. Five of the accused have denied the charges against them and have claimed that there is not enough evidence to prosecute them.

Smriti Irani alleges Gandhis and Robert Vadra involved in ‘family package of corruption’

In remarks targeting Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday claimed the Opposition party defines “family corruption” by “institutionalising” corruption. Union minister Smriti Irani alleged Robert Vadra is “merely a mask” in suspect land deals, while Gandhi was the real face.

Rafale deal: Those who leaked secret files guilty of theft, put security at risk, Centre tells SC

Petitioners seeking an inquiry into the Rafale jet deal had no authority to present secret official documents before the Supreme Court without the government’s permission, the Centre told the top court on Wednesday. The privileged documents attached in the review petition are sensitive to national security, and those who “conspired in their leakage” are guilty of penal offences including theft, the government said.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra meets Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad in Meerut hospital

Uttar Pradesh Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday met Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad in Meerut, where he is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital. Azad and his supporters were taken into custody in Deoband on Tuesday after they allegedly violated the Model Code of Conduct by using more than a stipulated number of motorcyles in a political rally in Saharanpur district. Azad had soon fallen ill after he was detained and was admitted to the Anand Hospital in Meerut.

Muzaffarnagar riots: Man who witnessed the murder of his brothers shot dead

A man who witnessed the killing of his two brothers during the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013, was shot dead in Uttar Pradesh’s Khatauli area on Tuesday. Asbab was a witness in the case in connection with the riots, which had left 62 people dead. Circle Officer Ashish Kumar said Asbab was murdered when he was going out to deliver milk and added that CCTV footage is being examined to identify the killer.

Lok Sabha polls: Now, Arvind Kejriwal proposes alliance with Congress in Haryana

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday pitched for an alliance with the Congress in Haryana. Kejriwal said that an alliance between the Aam Aadmi Party, Congress and the Jannayak Janta Party in Haryana will ensure that the coalition wins all 10 seats in the state. “The duo of [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi and [Bharatiya Janata Party National President] Amit Shah are very dangerous for the country,” the Aam Aadmi Party chief claimed.

Jammu and Kashmir: Civilian shot dead by suspected militants in Pulwama

A 25-year-old civilian was allegedly shot dead by suspected militants outside his home in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Wednesday. The incident took place in Pingleena village. A joint team of the Army and Special Operations Group launched a cordon and search operation in the area to look for the assailants.

Rajasthan: EC sends notices to BJP MP, Congress leader for using jawans’ photos in election posters

The Election Commission has issued notices to Bharatiya Janata Party MP Ramcharan Bohra and Congress leader Sunil Sharma for using pictures of defence personnel in their election campaign in Jaipur, reports said. The notice, sent by the Jaipur district electoral office, sought a response in three days, along with details of expenditure incurred on the offending campaign material.

India, US ask Pakistan to ‘meaningfully address’ international concerns on terrorism

India and the United States on Tuesday asked Pakistan to “meaningfully address” the concerns of the international community on terrorism exported from its soil. The statement was issued after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and his US counterpart, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, held consultations at the US State Department in Washington.

After #BoycottSurfExcel, outrage over ‘anti-Hindu’ detergent ad finds a new target – Microsoft Excel

Surf Excel and Microsoft Excel may have little in common, but outrage by some against the detergent brand has ended up in poor ratings for the spreadsheets app on the Google Play store. Users were trying to express their anger against a Surf Excel advertisement, which they claimed was anti-Hindu.

Assam: Supreme Court pulls up state for inadequate functioning of foreigners tribunals

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Assam government for the inadequate functioning of foreigners tribunals and said it was not taking deportation of illegal migrants seriously. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Assam government, told a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna that tribunals had declared over 50,000 migrants as foreigners in the last 10 years. Around 900 people have been detained in six detention centres across the state, he added.

Rahul Gandhi’s ‘unverified allegations’ against Modi violated code of conduct, says BJP

“We have requested the EC to take action against Rahul Gandhi for levelling unverified allegations against PM Narendra Modi yesterday in Ahmedabad, when the Model Code of Conduct is already in effect,” said Prasad. However, he did not clarify the exact allegations on the basis of which the party complained to the electoral monitor.

Chhattisgarh: Sukma SP transferred after he refuses minister’s directive to move another official

An Indian Police Service officer of the 2013 batch, Jitendra Shukla was appointed the superintendent of police of the Sukma district in February. Soon after his appointment, five-time Congress MLA and Cabinet minister Kawasi Lakhma asked him to transfer Surendra Pambhoi, who was in charge of the Phulbagdi police station, to another part of the district.

Centre ‘consciously disenfranchised’ people by not holding J&K Assembly polls, claims Omar Abdullah

Addressing a tweet to Modi, Abdullah wrote it was good to see the prime minister appeal to famous people to increase voter turnout in the Lok Sabha elections scheduled from April 11. “However, at the same time your government has consciously disenfranchised people in J&K by not holding Assembly elections on time,” said the National Conference vice president.

Modi believes only one idea should be imposed on the country, says Rahul Gandhi in Chennai

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government believe that “one idea” should be imposed on the country. “They have a particular view about role of women in our society,” Gandhi said at Stella Maris College in Chennai.

SpiceJet cancels 14 flights today after DGCA orders airlines to ground Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet

Private airline SpiceJet on Wednesday announced that it has decided to cancel 14 flights after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation asked all carriers to ground their Boeing 737 Max 8 fleet. The directive came days after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed after takeoff from Addis Ababa airport, killing all 157 passengers on board.

Police reforms: Supreme Court says DGPs must have at least six months left in tenure on appointment

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that only officers with a minimum of six months left in their tenure should be considered for the post of director general of police. The court was clarifying on its order on police reforms, passed in July 2018.

Rafale deal: Supreme Court grants Centre permission to file affidavit in case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted the Centre the permission to file an affidavit in the Rafale deal case. The Ministry of Defence will file the affidavit. The hearing of a bunch of review petitions against the court’s earlier verdict in the case will continue on Thursday.

EC asks Facebook to delete two posters by Delhi BJP MLA with pilot Abhinandan’s photo

The Election Commission on Tuesday directed Facebook to delete two posts shared by a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA with Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s image. The posts, which were election posters, were shared by Delhi MLA Om Prakash Sharma.

Pollachi serial sexual assault: DMK’s Kanimozhi criticises police for revealing name of survivor

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Kanimozhi on Tuesday criticised the state police for disclosing the name of a 19-year-old college student in Tamil Nadu’s Pollachi town who had filed a complaint against four men for sexual harassment. The complaint brought to light the Pollachi serial sexual assault and blackmail case.

BJP finalises alliance with AGP in Assam, parties in Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh

“The BJP, NPP, NDPP, AGP and BPF will fight together in Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh with the mission of defeating Congress party at the hustings,” BJP leader Ram Madhav wrote on Facebook. “In Tripura, the BJP will fight the elections together with IPFT, our alliance partner. In Sikkim, our alliance will be with SKM, the main Opposition party.”

Security guards’ union asks police to file FIR against Rahul Gandhi for ‘chowkidaar chor hai’ jibe

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated union of security guards on Monday submitted an application to the Mumbai Police to register a case against Congress President Rahul Gandhi, for his “chowkidaar chor hai” (the watchman is a thief) jibe. Gandhi often uses the remark at election rallies, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jaish chief Masood Azhar meets criteria to be listed as a global terrorist, says United States

The United States on Tuesday said Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar meets the criteria to be listed as a global terrorist and failure to do so would run counter to the goal of achieving regional stability and peace. Azhar’s group had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.

Lok Sabha polls: Sharad Pawar says BJP may emerge single largest party, but Modi will not be PM

Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar claimed on Tuesday that the Bharatiya Janata Party may emerge the single largest party after the Lok Sabha elections, but Narendra Modi will not become the prime minister again.

Uttar Pradesh: Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad detained for allegedly violating code of conduct

The Uttar Pradesh police on Tuesday took into custody Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and his supporters after they allegedly violated the Model Code of Conduct by using more than a stipulated number of motorcycles in a political rally in Saharanpur district.

India grounds Boeing 737 Max 8 planes after Ethiopian Airlines crash

India on Tuesday grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft used by the country’s airline companies in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Saturday that killed all 157 people on board. The Ministry of Civil Aviation said these planes will be grounded “till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations”.