Centre admits unemployment data was leaked, says it’s trying to identify those responsible

Minister of State for Planning and Statistics Rao Inderjit Singh termed the matter serious, and said data pertaining to unemployment figures were leaked ahead of its announcement in May. He was responding to queries during the Question Hour.

Bangladesh government expresses concerns over Assam’s NRC process for first time

“While we should not be worried, there is some anxiety after reading news reports,” Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told a local television channel on July 13. “We are already in much difficulty with the 11 lakh [Rohingya refugees], so we can’t take anymore. Bangladesh is the most densely populated country on the planet.”

Gujarat: Rebel Congress MLAs Alpesh Thakor, Dhavalsinh Zala join BJP

The two leaders had resigned as members of the Gujarat Assembly on July 5, after cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections for two seats. Thakor, who was elected legislator from Radhanpur in the 2017 Assembly elections, said after casting his vote: “The Congress observer tried to create a lot of issues over my vote, so you can understand for whom did I vote.”

Karnataka crisis: Governor asks Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to hold trust vote today

The governor’s decision came after Bharatiya Janata Party leaders met and requested him to direct the Speaker to hold a floor test immediately. “Chief minister had fixed today for vote of confidence but when the motion was moved and debate started, Siddaramaiah, Krishna Byre Gowda and HK Patil moved point of orders,” BJP leader Jagadish Shettarsaid, according to ANI. “We have requested Governor to direct the Speaker to continue the debate on vote of confidence.”

Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict: Pakistan has its own compulsions to lie to its people, says MEA

“Frankly, it seems to me they’re reading from a different verdict,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “[The] Main verdict is in 42 pages, if there is no patience to go through 42 pages, they should go through 7-pages Press Release, where every point is in India’s favour.”

Manipur: SC agrees to reconstitute bench to hear cases on alleged fake encounters by Army, police

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to reconstitute a bench for hearing cases on alleged extrajudicial killings by the Indian Army, the Assam Rifles, and police officials in Manipur. A top court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said that it would reconstitute the bench as Justice MB Lokur, who was hearing the matter, had retired.

Chhattisgarh mid-day meals row: Eggs will only be cooked separately or served at homes, says state

The Chhattisgarh government announced on Tuesday that “special arrangements” will be made to provide eggs for children in the mid-day meals in government schools. The Department Of School Education asked district collectors to hold a meeting of the Shala Vikas Samitis – school development committees – and parents within two weeks to identify students who do not want eggs in their mid-day meals. “Eggs should be cooked separately and while serving meals, separate sitting arrangement should be made for vegetarian students,” the department said.

Rajiv Gandhi assassination: Madras HC rejects Nalini Sriharan’s plea seeking early release

The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini Sriharan that sought a direction to Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit to decide on the state Cabinet’s recommendation that the convicts be released early. Sriharan is serving a life sentence for her involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Mob lynching: Supreme Court declines urgent hearing of contempt plea against states

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear on an urgent basis a contempt plea against states that have not complied with its 2018 judgement laying down guidelines to prevent mob lynching. The Supreme Court had turned down the plea on July 5 and said it would come up for hearing in the regular course of proceedings in the court.

Samjhauta Express blast: Case lacked proof, was instituted with political motive, claims Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that the chargesheets filed in the Samjhauta Express blast case did not have any substantial proof. Shah defended the decision of the government not to file an appeal against those acquitted in the case.

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s detention is illegal, Pakistan should release him, says S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday called for the release of Kulbhushan Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer who had been sentenced to death for espionage by a Pakistani military court, saying that his detention was illegal and under “fabricated charges”. Jaishankar’s remarks came a day after the International Court of Justice ruled that Pakistan had breached international law by not giving consular access to Jadhav.

Rapper Hard Kaur supports Khalistani group, says ‘minorities fed up of Indian government’

Rapper Taran Kaur Dhillon – famously known as Hard Kaur – has joined a secessionist and pro-Khalistani campaign for a separate land for the Sikhs. In a series of videos posted on her social media, Kaur advocated for the Sikh fundamentalist organisation Sikhs For Justice and its “Referendum 2020” campaign.

Chandrayaan-2 will now launch on July 22, says ISRO

India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, is scheduled to be launched at 2.43 pm on July 22 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, the Indian Space Research Organisation announced on Thursday. The mission was originally scheduled to take off on Monday but was called off due to a technical snag.

Saravana Bhavan founder P Rajagopal dies while serving life sentence in prison

P Rajagopal, the founder of the Saravana Bhavan restaurant chain, died at a hospital in Chennai on Thursday morning, The Indian Express reported. The 72-year-old died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Ayodhya land dispute: Mediation panel submits status report in Supreme Court

The mediation panel looking into the Ayodhya land dispute case on Thursday submitted its status report to the Supreme Court. The court said it will not put up the report in public as it was meant to be confidential. The court directed the mediation panel to inform it of the progress made by the committee by July 31. It will next take up the matter on August 2.

MM Kalburgi’s wife identifies man who shot him, accused is reportedly linked to Gauri Lankesh murder

The son of Kannada writer MM Kalburgi on Wednesday said that his mother has identified one of the accused involved in the murder of the rationalist in a test identification parade. Kalburgi, a Kendriya Sahitya Akademi awardee and anti-superstition activist, was shot dead at his home in Dharwad district in Karnataka on August 30, 2015. However, reports said that the man identified by Kalburgi’s wife Umadevi Kalburgi is also the one involved in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Theatre director S Raghunandana turns down Sangeet Natak Akademi award citing ‘growing intolerance’

Eminent theatre director from Karnataka S Raghunandana on Wednesday declined the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for 2018, a day after it was announced, in protest against incidents of “mob lynching in the name of God and religion” and the frequent attempts to stifle dissenting views of public intellectuals and activists.

Assam floods: Toll rises to 28, over 57 lakh people affected

The toll in the Assam floods on Wednesday rose to 28, with over 57 lakh people affected by the deluge in the state. Several rivers including the Brahmaputra are flowing above their danger levels. In its flood report, the Assam Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday said over 1.5 lakh people have taken refuge in the state’s 427 relief camps.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan says he appreciates ICJ’s decision not to acquit, return Kulbhushan Jadhav

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said he appreciated the decision of the International Court of Justice not to acquit and release its Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav. “He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law,” Khan tweeted.