The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 amid protests from the opposition. Home Minister Amit Shah defended the Bill during the debate and said strong laws were needed to curtail acts of terrorism.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday claimed that the Pulwama attack was carried out by a Kashmiri radicalised by the “brutality of security forces”. He said Pakistan was unnecessarily dragged into it.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday asserted in Parliament that there was no discussion on Kashmir dispute during the meeting between the Prime Minister and United States President Donald Trump in June.
Here are the day’s updates:
The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday said India’s second Moon mission Chandrayaan-2, which took off on July 22, was scheduled to reach the Moon by August 20. The space agency also said that the “first earth bound orbit raising manoeuver” for the spacecraft had successfully been performed on Wednesday.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad has said in a chargesheet filed in a Mumbai court earlier this month that members of an “Islamic State-inspired” terror group were inspired by the speeches of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. The members of the terror group were arrested in Maharashtra in January for allegedly planning mass killings at a temple.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Wednesday said that Maoist violence in the country had reduced by 43% in the last five years when compared to the five years before that. Reddy said that steadfast government policy had resulted in the “consistent decline in Left Wing extremism-related violence and geographical spread” of its influence in the country.
India was on Wednesday ranked 52nd on the Global Innovation Index for 2019, released in New Delhi. In 2018, India had secured the 57th rank. The index was launched in the presence of WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. The WIPO describes the index as “a global benchmark that helps policy makers better understand how to stimulate and measure innovative activity”. As many as 129 countries were surveyed for the index based on 80 indicators.
Expelled Bahujan Samaj Party MLA in Karnataka N Mahesh on Wednesday said his party’s high command had asked him to refrain from voting and remain neutral in Tuesday’s trust vote in the state Assembly. Mahesh, the only MLA from the party in the state, said it may have been a miscommunication and that he will continue to stay with the party, ANI reported.
Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said on Wednesday that the Centre has zero tolerance for incidents of communal violence. Replying to a query during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said incidents of communal violence have declined from 823 in 2013 to 708 in 2018.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said electronic voting machines were “completely non-tamperable”. Quoting the Election Commission, Prasad told the Lok Sabha in a written reply that there was “no technical collaboration with any foreign establishment” to manufacture EVMs.
Outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Wednesday remained vague about the future of the coalition between the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress after it lost its majority, PTI reported. Kumaraswamy said the two parties had not yet discussed it.
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Discussion on the bill led to a heated debate, with the Congress walking out of the House. While the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies supported the legislation, most Opposition parties expressed concern.
The Centre on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that there was no proposal to amend the Constitution to change the name of West Bengal to Bangla. Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said: “To change name of any state, constitutional amendment is required. There is no proposal to amend Constitution as of now.” Rai also said that the name “Bangla” sounds similar to “Bangladesh.
Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party chief BS Yeddyurappa on Wednesday said that he is awaiting instructions from the central leadership before he stakes claim to form the government in the state. “I’m awaiting instructions from Delhi,” Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru. “I can call legislature party meeting any time and go to Raj Bhavan. I’m waiting for it.”
The United Nations has asked India to update and enhance its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The organisation said India can announce its strategy to reduce emissions at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23.
A group of filmmakers, activists and academics have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the “number of tragic events in recent times”, particularly incidents of lynching. The letter said that the slogan “Jai Shri Ram” had become a “provocative war cry” and the reason behind many lynchings in the country.
A chargesheet filed on Tuesday by the Mumbai Police in the Payal Tadvi suicide case said the handwriting in a suicide note found in her mobile phone had been confirmed to be hers. In the 1,203-page chargesheet filed on Tuesday, the police alleged that doctors Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal abetted the suicide of their junior colleague. The chargesheet was filed in a special court set up under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Kerala High Court judge Justice V Chitambaresh has courted controversy by praising the virtues of Brahmins and claiming that a person with the qualities of a Brahmin should always be at the helm of affairs.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that the debt-ridden Amrapali Group may have diverted money of its customers illegally to a group company linked to cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The court made the statement in its judgement cancelling the registration of the construction group under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act for committing fraud and siphoning off home buyers’ money.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that there was no question of accepting mediation by a third party in the Kashmir dispute. “As S Jaishankar ji [external affairs minister] said Kashmir issue was not discussed in President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting,” Singh said. “There is no question of mediation in Kashmir issue as it will be against the Simla agreement.”
The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of a petition filed by two Karnataka MLAs to direct the state Assembly Speaker to have a floor test in the House immediately. The two MLAs wished to withdraw the petition now that the floor test had been held, but the court refused to pass an order until the senior counsels for both sides came for the hearing.
At least four people were feared dead after a landslide at a state-run coal mine in Bharatpur in Odisha late on Tuesday, a company spokesperson said. Rescue teams pulled out the body of a worker from the rubble, while three others are feared trapped.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Centre, the Central Bureau of Investigation and five states on a plea seeking the prosecution of entities involved in illegal sand mining. A bench headed by Justice SA Bobde sought responses from the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Mines, and the governments of Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Industrialist Pramod Mittal was arrested in Bosnia on Wednesday for suspected fraud and “abuse of power”, AFP quoted prosecutor Cazim Serhatlic as saying. Pramod Mittal, who is the younger brother of steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, owns several companies in the Balkans.
Heavy rains in Mumbai disrupted road and rail traffic on Wednesday, with a number of roads and railway tracks getting waterlogged. The India Meteorological Department has predicted heavy rainfall in the city and its suburban areas during the day.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday claimed his country was unnecessarily blamed for the attack on Indian security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February that ratcheted up tensions between the two countries.
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said there was an internal conflict within the Congress government in the state, and warned that the Bharatiya Janata Party will not be responsible if the Kamal Nath government faces a similar crisis like the one in Karnataka.
Social activist Anna Hazare has criticised the Centre for amending the Right to Information Act, saying it was akin to deceiving Indians. The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday, seeks to give the government powers to fix salaries, tenures and other terms and conditions of employment of information commissioners.
The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday granted bail to the managing editor of a Noida-based news channel that aired alleged defamatory content about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath last month. Anuj Shukla, an editor at Nation Live channel, got bail in a case of fraud and forgery.
A senior adviser of United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Trump “does not make things up” when asked if his claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested him to mediate in the Kashmir dispute was false, C-Span reported.
The Congress on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of carrying out “one of the most heinous” instances of horse-trading in the country after the coalition government in Karnataka failed to prove its majority in the House. Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi said his party’s alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) had been a target from the beginning.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday expelled the lone party MLA in Karnataka for not voting for the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition during the trust vote in the Assembly. The coalition lost the floor test 99 to 105.