Here are the day’s updates:

Government’s inter-ministerial panel recommends ban on cryptocurrency in India

An inter-ministerial committee of the Centre has recommended a ban on cryptocurrency in India as well as a penalty for activities involving virtual currencies. The Ministry of Finance said on Monday that the committee’s report and a draft bill will now be examined by the government.

Madhya Pradesh government to invoke NSA against those involved in milk adulteration, says minister

Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Tulsiram Silavat on Monday said National Security Act would be invoked against all those involved in supplying highly toxic synthetic milk to branded outlets across several states. Last week, the Madhya Pradesh Police had arrested 62 people and busted a racket involved in manufacturing these milk products.

Bombay High Court quashes proceedings against Ratan Tata, N Chandrasekharan in defamation case

The Bombay High Court on Monday quashed proceedings against former Tata Sons Chairperson Ratan Tata, its current chairperson N Chandrasekharan and eight directors of the firm in a criminal defamation case filed by Nusli Wadia. A magistrate’s court in Mumbai had in December 2018 issued notices to Tata and the others in the criminal defamation case. Wadia had filed the case in 2016 after he was voted out of the boards of directors of some Tata Group firms.

Jharkhand: Four villagers lynched for allegedly practising witchcraft in Gumla district, 10 detained

The Jharkhand Police on Monday detained 10 people for allegedly lynching four people on the suspicion that they practised witchcraft in Gumla district’s Nagar-Siskari village. A group of 10 masked people beat them up between 1 am and 3 am on Sunday. The attackers allegedly dragged them out of their homes, locked them up in a house and beat them up. Some reports alleged that their throats were also slit but there is no official confirmation on this.

J&K: Soldier killed after Pakistan allegedly violates ceasefire in Rajouri district, say police

An Indian Army jawan was killed after Pakistan allegedly violated ceasefire along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Monday. Pakistani troops targeted forward posts and villages with mortar shells and small arms in Sunderbani sector, police officials said. The soldier, manning a forward post, was critically injured. He was taken to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

2008 Malegaon blasts case: Bombay High Court asks NIA about trial completion time

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the National Investigation Agency about the estimated time by which trial in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case would be completed. The blasts had killed six people and injured 100. A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre asked NIA advocate Sandesh Patil to give a schedule of the trial and state within two weeks by when it will be completed.

Akash Vijayvargiya case: BJP disciplinary panel chief says Modi’s rebuke did not name the MLA

Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party disciplinary committee convener Babusingh Raghuvanshi said on Sunday that he was unsure if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s criticism of indiscipline was directed at MLA Akash Vijayvargiya, who assaulted a civic official in Indore with a cricket bat last month.

Mumbai: Fire breaks out in MTNL building, around 35 people still feared trapped

Around 35 people are feared trapped on the terrace of a building that houses telecom company Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited in Mumbai’s Bandra area after a fire broke out on Monday afternoon. There were no reports of any casualties yet. Around 60 people who were trapped on the terrace were rescued.

‘Bounced back with flying colours’: ISRO chief congratulates scientists after Chandrayaan-2 launch

Indian Space Research Organisation Chairperson K Sivan on Monday said India had begun a historic journey towards moon with the launch of Chandrayaan-2, the country’s second mission to the moon. “I am extremely happy to announce that GSLV Mark 3 successfully injected the Chandrayaan 2 into orbit,” Sivan said after the launch, amid cheering from other scientists at the control centre. “It is the beginning of a historical journey for India. We fixed a serious technical snag and ISRO bounced back with flying colours.”

Saradha scam: Calcutta HC extends interim protection from arrest granted to Rajeev Kumar by one week

The Calcutta High Court on Monday extended the interim protection granted to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar by one week, PTI reported. The Central Bureau of Investigation is investigating Kumar in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. On July 2, the court had extended Kumar’s interim protection from arrest till July 22.

Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to moon, lifts off from Sriharikota

India launched Chandrayaan-2, its second mission to the moon, into space at 2.43 pm on Monday. An earlier attempt, made on July 15, had to be called off due to a technical problem. The Indian Space Research Organisation launched the mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The space body had started a 20-hour countdown at 6.43 pm on Sunday. If the mission is successful, India will become the fourth country to achieve a soft landing on the moon after the United States, Russia and China.

Attack on Hindu priest in US: Indian diplomats praise authorities for prompt arrest

Indian diplomats in the United States on Sunday thanked authorities for the swift action taken by them after the attack on a Hindu priest near a temple in New York’s Queens area last week. On July 18, Swami Harish Chander Puri suffered bruises all over his body, including his face, after he was repeatedly assaulted by a man. According to some of the devotees at the temple, he was attacked because of his religious attire.

Maharashtra: Two Muslim men in Aurangabad forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’

Two Muslim men in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad city were allegedly threatened and forced to chant “Jai Shri Ram” by unidentified people on Sunday night. Shaikh Amer, who works with food delivery app Zomato, and his friend Shaikh Nasir were waiting to hire an auto-rickshaw in the city’s Azad Chowk area when four to five men in a car allegedly waylaid them. The men abused the two and threatened to kill them if they did not say “Jai Shri Ram”, an unidentified police official said.

Supreme Court puts on hold Essar Steel’s sale to ArcelorMittal, next hearing on August 7

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered status quo in the Essar insolvency case while agreeing to expeditiously hear an appeal against the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s July 4 order. The top court said the monitoring committee supervising the insolvency process would continue its work till the hearing of the case on August 7. The bench, headed by Justice RF Nariaman, was hearing a petition filed by the Committee of Creditors against the order approving Lakshmi Mittal-led ArcelorMital’s take over of Essar Steel.

Rajdeep Sardesai wins Prem Bhatia Award for political reporting

Senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai has won the Prem Bhatia Award for political reporting for 2019. The annual award, which carries a prize of Rs 2 lakh, is given in the memory of veteran journalist Prem Bhatia, who died in 1995. Ishan Kukreti, who writes for Down To Earth, and independent journalist Sharada Balasubramanian won the award for environmental and development reporting. This category carries an award of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Karnataka: Six ‘treasure hunters’ arrested for vandalising grave of 16th-century saint near Hampi

The Karnataka Police have arrested six persons suspected of vandalising the grave of a 16th-century Madhva scholar near Hampi in Ballari district last week. The accused, one of whom is a priest, were arrested from Andhra Pradesh. Nava Brindavana, located in Anegundi village on an island in the Tungabhadra river, is the resting place of nine saints of the Madhva tradition. The Brindavana of Vyasaraja Tirtha was found vandalised on Thursday morning, leading to anger on social media.

Kerala: Four dead and two missing after heavy rainfall, red alert sounded in four districts

At least four people died and two fishermen from Tamil Nadu were reported missing as incessant rains lashed Kerala. Red alert has been sounded in Kasargod, Idukki, Kozhikode and Kannur districts till Tuesday. The police recovered the bodies of a 55-year-old fisherman from Tamil Nadu identified as Sahayaraju in Kollam district, the Navy recovered the body of local fisherman Manesh Sebastian, who had gone missing from Kottayam district’s Meenachil river.

Former bureaucrats condemn alleged intimidation of human rights activists and dissidents

A group of former bureaucrats on Sunday expressed concern over the alleged use of state institutions to punish and intimidate human rights activists and dissenters. Citing three recent cases, the former civil service officers condemned what they said “appears an attempt to govern by fear and intimidation”.

Sonbhadra firing: Accused will be booked under National Security Act, say reports

The Uttar Pradesh Police have decided to invoke provisions of the National Security Act against the accused in last week’s shooting in Umbha village in Sonbhadra district in which 10 Adivasi farmers were killed. The police have arrested 29 and are on the lookout for 17 people. Fourteen tractors and five licenced weapons, allegedly used in the shootout, have been seized. A police officer said the weapons belonged to village head Yaghya Dutt Bhuriya, who is the primary accused, and his family.

Karnataka crisis: Speaker insists floor test to be held today, whip will apply to rebel MLAs

The coalition government in Karnataka is scheduled to face a floor test in the Assembly on Monday, after missing two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala on Friday. The Supreme Court refused to urgently list a plea of two Independent MLAs, seeking a direction to Karnataka Assembly Speaker to complete a floor test before 5 pm on Monday.

Centre is working on early release of Indians on board British tanker seized by Iran: S Jaishankar

The Centre on Sunday it was working to ensure the early release of 18 Indian crew members of a British tanker that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday. “Team MEA is already working on the early release and repatriation of all 18 Indian crew members of Stena Impero,” said Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar.

‘I was not elected to clean drains and toilets,’ BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur tells party workers

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur on Sunday told party workers in the city of Sehore in Madhya Pradesh that she was not elected to “clean drains and toilets”. Thakur, who represents Bhopal in Parliament, is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case and is out on bail at present.

‘Kill those who looted Kashmir, not innocents,’ says J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday asked militants to kill those who have looted the state instead of targetting innocent people and security personnel. “The boys with guns are unnecessarily killing unarmed people,” Malik said at the inauguration of a tourism festival in Kargil.

Chandrayaan-2 to be launched at 2.43 pm, all eyes on ISRO’s second attempt at sending rover to Moon

India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan-2, will launch at 2.43 pm on Monday from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, a week after it was originally scheduled to take off. The mission was called off on July 15 due to a technical problem. The Indian Space Research Organisation, or ISRO, began a 20-hour countdown at 6.43 pm on Sunday.

Two Karnataka MLAs move SC, urge it to direct Speaker to complete floor test before 5 pm on Monday

Two Karnataka MLAs moved the Supreme Court on Sunday, urging it to direct Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to complete floor test in the Assembly before 5 pm on Monday. The legislators – Independent MLA H Nagesh and R Shankar from the Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party – claimed that a minority government was being allowed to continue in office.

Full text: Academics and writers condemn FIRs against Assam’s Miya poets and their online harassment

More than 200 people, including academics, research scholars, journalists, writers and film-makers, have criticised the Assam Police for filing first information reports against 10 people, most of them Bengali Muslim poets and activists who are often pejoratively referred to as Miya. Their body of work is known as Miya poetry.

NIA drops terror charges against four arrested for allegedly planning attacks in NCR: Report

The National Investigation Agency has dropped terrorism charges against four men arrested last year for allegedly planning terror attacks in the National Capital Region and attempting to establish an “Islamic State caliphate”. The four were released from prison earlier this month after serving time for six months.