Ashok Chavan steps down as Congress’ Maharashtra unit president

The Congress’ central leadership has accepted Ashok Chavan’s resignation as the party’s Maharashtra unit president. The decision was taken on June 29 during a meeting in New Delhi with Rahul Gandhi and Mallikarjun Kharge.

Israeli company apologises for putting Mahatma Gandhi’s image on beer bottles

An Israeli company that used the image of Mahatma Gandhi on liquor bottles to commemorate Israel’s 71st independence Day apologised to Indians and the Government of India on Wednesday for “hurting their sentiments”. “Malka Beer offers its heartfelt apologies to the people and the Government of India for hurting their sentiments,” said the company’s Brand Manager Gilad Dror.

Kerala: Two police officials arrested for suspected custodial death of prisoner

The Kerala Crime Branch arrested two police personnel on Wednesday in connection with the alleged custodial torture and death of a prisoner in June. Investigators said more arrests were likely to be made. The Crime Branch charged Sub-Inspector KA Sabu and civil police officer Sajeev Antony with illegal detention and custodial torture.

Bodies of seven climbers found on Nanda Devi brought to Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh

The bodies of seven climbers, who died on their way to Nanda Devi East peak over a month ago, were flown to Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh town on Wednesday. The climbers had left Munsiyari village on May 13 to scale the peak but they did not return to the base camp on the scheduled date of May 25.

Maharashtra dam breach: Opposition parties accuse state government of negligence

Opposition parties in Maharashtra on Wednesday accused the state government of negligence after a breach in the Tiware dam in Ratnagiri district killed at least 11 people. The breach, caused by incessant rain on Tuesday, also caused a flood-like situation in seven downstream villages. At least 12 homes near the dam were washed away.

Noida: 19-year-old domestic worker’s body found stuck between two residential towers

Jai Prakash, an 18th floor resident of Tower D, saw the body on Tuesday morning. “There are 16 floors in Tower C and 18 in Tower B,” said security guard Deepak Mishra. “There is a one-foot gap between the two towers. Around 7.30 am, a resident alerted us about a stench from the vacant space.”

Karnataka: At least 11 killed and 20 injured in road accident in Chikkaballapur district

ANI reported that the collision took place between an autorickshaw and a bus, and 12 people were killed. According to the news agency, 20 people were injured in the accident.

Rahul Gandhi says he is no longer Congress president, asks party to choose new chief without delay

Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he was no longer the Congress president, and had submitted his resignation. “Party should decide on the new president quickly without further delay, I am nowhere in this process,” he said. “CWC [Congress Working Committee] should convene a meeting at the earliest and decide.”

Sedition law will not be scrapped, Centre tells Rajya Sabha

The Centre told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that it was not planning to scrap the British-era sedition law. The Narendra Modi said in a written submission during Question Hour that the law was necessary to “effectively combat anti-national, secessionist and terrorist elements”.

Piyush Goyal hits out at Congress, says not a single coach was built in Rae Bareli factory till 2014

Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress over the corporatisation of a few production units of rail coach factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district. Goyal said the United Progressive Alliance government led by the Congress had announced the construction of coaches in 2008 but till 2014 not a single coach was built there. The minister claimed that 1,422 coaches were manufactured in the factory in 2018.

Bihar: Only 43% of doctors and 29% of nurses employed in government hospitals, state tells SC

The Bihar government has told the Supreme Court that its health infrastructure is inadequate to deal with a crisis such as the breakout of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. In an affidavit submitted to the top court, the government said state-run hospitals were understaffed at every level. The Nitish Kumar-led government was responding to a notice from the court after the deaths of more than 150 people in the state.

DGCA warns Indian airlines of action if they don’t follow norms for landing aircraft in poor weather

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Wednesday warned airlines of punitive action if they land their aircraft with “unstabilised approach” during adverse weather conditions. The warning came a day after the DGCA issued safety precautions for aircraft operations during the monsoon season.

Amit Shah summons Delhi police chief to discuss temple vandalism in Chawri Bazar

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday summoned Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik to discuss the clashes in the city’s Chawri Bazar locality after a parking dispute late on Sunday. The situation is under control now, Patnaik told reporters after the meeting.

Illegal coal mining: Supreme Court asks Meghalaya government to pay Rs 100-crore fine imposed by NGT

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Meghalaya government to deposit the Rs 100-crore penalty imposed by the National Green Tribunal for failing to check illegal coal mining in the state. The green tribunal had imposed the fine on the Meghalaya government in January, when operations to rescue 15 miners trapped in an illegal rat-hole mine in East Jaintia Hills were under way.

Andhra Pradesh High Court seeks details on Chandrababu Naidu’s security cover by July 9

The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to submit details on the security cover being provided to Telugu Desam Party president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu by July 9. The order was issued on Tuesday after state Advocate General Subrahmanyam Sriram told the court that Naidu was being given more security than what he was entitled to as the leader of Opposition.

2019 elections seem to be among the ‘least free and fair’ in decades, claims group of ex-bureaucrats

A group of retired civil servants wrote to the Election Commission on Wednesday, alleging that the 2019 General Elections appeared to have been one of the “least free and fair” in the last three decades. The signatories said that in the past, the Election Commission did its best to conduct free and fair elections despite the influence of “criminal elements, musclemen and unscrupulous politicians”.

Monsoon likely to reach Delhi by July 5, says IMD

The India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday that the southwest monsoon was likely to advance over Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the next two or three days. IMD Director General M Mohapatra said monsoon may be declared over Delhi by July 5.

Uttar Pradesh: Mutilated body of eight-year-old girl found in Kasganj district, suspect missing

The girl’s father had filed a police complaint on Monday after she went missing while playing near her home. Her family members and villagers complained about a pungent smell coming from another house in the village the next morning. The police raided the house and found the body hidden there.

Mumbai: CAG criticises BMC’s flood preparedness, says drains can only handle 25 mm rain per hour

The report was tabled in both Houses of the legislature on a day when Mumbai received near-record rainfall, forcing authorities to curtail train services and disrupting traffic on roads. The rainfall in 24 hours from Monday night was the highest since the deluge of 2005 and the second-highest since 1974.

RSS wing honours group that got ‘anti-national’ social media users punished after Pulwama attack

“We gave the award to them because we saw how much this group loves the nation,” Vagish Issar, secretary of RSS-affiliate Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra, told The Indian Express. “Many people love the nation, but some people love it actively.”

2019 elections seem to be among the ‘least free and fair’ in decades, claims group of ex-bureaucrats

“From time to time, the media has reported on various irregularities in the conduct of the 2019 General Elections,” they wrote. “While we accept that not every media report is accurate or true, the ECI’s non-rebuttal of an inaccurate or untrue story leaves the public to draw its own conclusion: that the ECI has no valid explanation to offer. The mere dismissal of the allegations as baseless, without an explanation as to why they should be so considered, is unsatisfactory.”

Andhra Pradesh High Court seeks details on Chandrababu Naidu’s security cover by July 9

Naidu claimed that there was a threat to his life from Maoists and asked for the security to be restored. In October 2003, Naidu had survived a claymore mine bomb attack by the Maoists at Alipiri, the foothills of Tirumala and was since then provided Z plus security, involving commandos from the elite National Security Guard.

Maharashtra: Eight dead, 15 missing after Tiware Dam breaches due to heavy rainfall in Ratnagiri

At least six people were killed and more than 20 missing after heavy rainfall led to a breach in the Tiware Dam in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra on Tuesday night. It also caused a flood-like situation in seven downstream villages and at least 12 houses adjacent to the dam have been washed away.

Pulwama attack: Four of five terrorists involved killed and one arrested, Centre tells Parliament

The Centre on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that four of the five terrorists involved in February’s Pulwama terror attack were killed, and one of them was arrested. The attack, orchestrated by the Jaish-e-Mohammad group, had killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force soldiers on February 14.

Iran sanctions: India ‘under pressure’ but Tehran ready to protect its energy security, says envoy

The Iranian envoy to India on Tuesday promised that his country would act as a “protector” of India’s energy security even as the country was “under pressure” to not buy Tehran’s oil. “We think India is under pressure, but we believe India is a friend of Iran,” the ambassador, Ali Chegeni, said.

Gujarat HC rejects Congress plea for quick decision by Speaker on disqualifying Alpesh Thakor as MLA

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday dismissed the Congress’ petition seeking an order for the state Assembly speaker to decide soon on the disqualification of MLA Alpesh Thakor. A division bench of Justices SR Brahmbhatt and AP Thaker dismissed the plea as it decided to not interfere in a matter pending before Speaker Rajendra Trivedi.

2016 Una flogging case: Gujarat court orders daily hearing from July 29

A sessions court in Gujarat ordered that the trial in 2016 Una Dalit flogging case be done on a daily basis from July 29. The District and Sessions court of Veraval pronounced the order while allowing the application moved by Vashram Sarvaiya, one of the men who was beaten up by cow vigilantes in Gujarat. Sarvaiya had sought speedy trail in the case.

Congress likely to send Manmohan Singh to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan: Reports

The Congress plans to send former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan, NDTV reported on Tuesday. This came after talks between Congress and its ally Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for a Rajya Sabha berth reportedly failed. There are six vacancies in Rajya Sabha from Tamil Nadu for which elections will be held on July 18.

Jaipur: Seven-year-old girl allegedly abducted and raped, security heightened after locals protest

An unidentified man allegedly abducted and raped a seven-year-old girl in Shastri Nagar area of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Security was increased and internet services were suspended in the area after protests by locals gained momentum.