Bureaucrat SC Garg denies connection between his VRS application and transfer to power ministry

Former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg on Friday quelled speculations about him being upset with his transfer to the power ministry. Garg said there was no connection between his transfer and his application for voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service. Earlier in the day, he took charge as the secretary in the Ministry of Power.

Odisha: Bodies of two more miners found in Bharatpur mine

Rescuers on Friday found the bodies of two more miners who were trapped in a coal mine following a landslide in Bharatpur in Odisha on July 24. Rescue teams had pulled out the body of another worker from the mine on that day. One more miner is feared dead.

CBI arrests lobbyist Deepak Talwar after court denies him bail in aviation scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday arrested lobbyist Deepak Talwar after a special court in New Delhi denied him anticipatory bail in an aviation scam case. The CBI arrested Talwar inside the courtroom after Special Judge Anil Kumar Sisodia dismissed his petition.

Rajya Sabha: Opposition MPs complain to Venkaiah Naidu about ‘hurried passage’ of bills

Seventeen MPs from Opposition parties on Friday wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu raising concerns over the “hurried passing” of bills in Parliament. They alleged that the bills were being passed without any scrutiny and asked Naidu to interfere. The signatories included leaders from the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Telugu Desam Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Bhima Koregaon: Bombay HC reserves verdict on activist Gautam Navlakha’s plea seeking to quash FIR

The Bombay High Court on Friday reserved its verdict on activist Gautam Navlakha’s plea seeking to quash a first information report filed against him for alleged links with Maoists. Navlakha was among five activists arrested last August in connection with the Elgar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon case. A bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre also extended the protection from arrest granted to Navlakha until the verdict.

Chandrayaan-2 completes second orbit-raising manoeuvre, next one expected on July 29

The Indian Space Research Organisation on Friday said the Chandrayaan-2 had moved into a higher orbit around the Earth. The space agency said that India’s second moon mission had successfully completed its second orbit-raising manoeuvre at 1.08 am Indian time on Friday, as planned. The manoeuvre was completed using the onboard propulsion system for a firing duration of 883 seconds, the space agency said in a statement.

‘Cow is the only animal that inhales and exhales oxygen,’ says Uttarakhand CM

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has said that the cow is the only animal that inhales as well as exhales oxygen, The Times of India reported on Friday. One can cure breathing problems by massaging a cow, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.

Uttar Pradesh: Tigress beaten to death by villagers with sticks near Pilibhit reserve

An adult tigress was beaten to death with sticks by villagers in Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, IANS reported. The incident took place close to Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, about 240 km from the state capital Lucknow, NDTV reported. A two-minute video of the assault of the tiger by the villagers has a background commentary by a witness who said they were assaulting the animal because she had attacked and injured a villager.

Speaker asks Azam Khan to apologise for sexist remarks after several MPs call for strict action

Several members of the Lok Sabha on Friday condemned the sexist remarks by Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan about Bharatiya Janata Party MP Rama Devi during the previous day’s proceedings. Speaker Om Birla met with floor leaders of all political parties and decided that Khan should apologise or face action instead.

Balakot strikes: ‘Should have used bombs that destroyed buildings,’ says Air Force chief BS Dhanoa

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Friday said Indian fighter jets should have dropped bombs that would have destroyed entire structures during the air strikes on a terrorist camp in Balakot, Pakistan, in February, NDTV reported. The air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp were carried out days after the terrorist group killed 40 security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The fighter jets had dropped a penetrator variant of the Israeli-made Spice 2000 bomb on the training camp.

West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee makes sexist remark at meeting with protesting schoolteachers

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee has created a controversy by making sexist remarks on Thursday during a protest in Kolkata by primary school teachers demanding pay raise, Times Now reported.

‘False narrative, selective outrage’: 62 public figures criticise open letter to PM on mob lynchings

A group of actors, academics, filmmakers and authors have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concerns over a “false narrative” and “selective outrage”, days after another group of public intellectuals had urged Modi to stop mob lynchings in the country, ANI reported on Friday. The 62 signatories include actor Kangana Ranaut, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, dancer and MP Sonal Mansingh, and filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar and Vivek Agnihotri.

China provides India satellite data on flood-hit areas to aid relief operations

China on Friday provided India satellite data on the country’s flood-hit regions to assist rescue and relief operations. The toll in floods in Bihar and Assam rose to 198 on Thursday, according to the state governments’ daily bulletins.

Mob lynching: SC issues notices to Centre and state governments on implementation of 2018 judgement

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the Centre and the states that have not complied with its 2018 judgement laying down guidelines to prevent mob lynching. Last week, the top court had declined to hear on an urgent basis a contempt plea against the states. A lawyer for one of the petitioners in the case had said incidents of mob lynching had increased despite the Supreme Court’s verdict.

Ishrat Jahan case: CBI not to challenge discharge of ex-Gujarat police officers DG Vanzara, NK Amin

The Central Bureau of Investigation has informed a court in Ahmedabad that it will not appeal against the discharge of former Gujarat Police officers DG Vanzara and NK Amin in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case. Central Bureau of Investigation lawyer RC Kodekar conveyed the decision in a written submission to special CBI judge RK Chudawala.

In photos: India pays tributes to armed forces on Kargil Vijay Diwas

Several Indian leaders paid their tributes to war veterans on Friday as India observed the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas. “On Kargil Vijay Diwas, a grateful nation acknowledges the gallantry of our Armed Forces on the heights of Kargil in 1999,” President Ram Nath Kovind said on Twitter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted photos from his visit to Kargil during the war.

Kargil Vijay Diwas: 20 years later, Tiger Hill hero Satpal Singh directs traffic in Punjab town

In 1999, Sepoy Satpal Singh won the Vir Chakra, India’s third-highest military decoration, for his “extreme bravery and courage” on the hills of Kargil during India’s Operation Vijay. Twenty years later, he is a head constable in Punjab’s Sangur district, directing traffic on the roads of Bhawanigarh.

BJP government’s silence on job losses and weakening trade is dangerous, says Priyanka Gandhi

Congress General Secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi on Friday said the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s silence on job losses was dangerous. Citing a media report, Gandhi claimed that jobs of 10 lakh people in the auto sector were in danger. “People working in this sector will have to search for new job avenues,” she tweeted. “The silence of the BJP government on job losses, weakening trade and policies damaging the economy is most dangerous.”

‘Go to the Moon if you cannot tolerate Jai Shri Ram chants,’ BJP leader tells Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Kerala Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson B Gopalakrishnan on Thursday said filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan should “move to the Moon or another planet” if he was unable to tolerate the chanting of “Jai Shri Ram” in India. Adoor Gopalakrishnan was one of 49 signatories to a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that said the slogan had become a “provocative war cry” and the reason for a number of lynchings in the country.

Gujarat: Land acquisition near Statue of Unity stalled by High Court

The Gujarat High Court has ordered status quo on land acquisition for tourism projects near the Statue of Unity in Narmada district till further orders. The court also asked the state government not to evict Adivasis in six villages near the 182-metre statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, which is located close to the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada. The six villages are – Kevadiya, Vagadiya, Navagam, Limbdi, Kothi and Gora.

Karnataka: BJP’s Yediyurappa meets Governor Vajubhai Vala, stakes claim to form government

Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party chief BS Yediyurappa on Friday met Governor Vajubhai Vala to stake claim to form the government. He will take oath at 6 pm. The 14-month-old ruling coalition of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) lost a trust vote in the Assembly on Tuesday after 99 MLAs voted in favour of it and 105 legislators went against it.

Madhya Pradesh CM asks BJP to rise above partisan politics after threat to bring down government

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday appealed to the Opposition to rise above partisan politics and focus on the state’s development. His statement comes a day after two Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs voted in favour of the Congress-led government in the state Assembly.

Boycott Muslims who make ‘kanwars’, VHP leader Prachi tells Hindu devotees

Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Prachi has asked Hindu devotees not to use earthen pitchers made by Muslims to carry Ganga water to be offered to Hindu deity Shiva. These pitchers are known as “kanwars”. “Ninety-nine per cent of Muslims make ‘kanwar’ for Lord Shiva devotees in Haridwar,” Prachi said at Baghpat district in Meerut on Wednesday.

Karnataka: ‘I will decide on other rebel MLAs’ resignations in a couple of days,’ says Speaker

Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Thursday said he would decide on the resignations of 12 of the 15 MLAs who resigned from the Assembly “in a couple of days”. Kumar made the remarks to the news channel after disqualifying three rebel MLAs – R Shankar, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathahalli – who withdrew support to the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government.

India gains consular access to 18 Indians on board a British oil tanker captured by Iran

India has gained consular access to 18 Indian crew members of a British oil tanker that was captured by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Strait of Hormuz on July 20. “Received an update on ‘Stena Impero’,” Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan tweeted on Thursday night. “Our Embassy availed consular access today [Thursday] evening. All 18 Indian crew members on board are safe and doing fine. Will continue to push for their early release.

Mamata Banerjee requests Modi to call an all-party meeting to discuss public funding of elections

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to call for an all-party-meeting to discuss public funding of elections and “root out corruption”. Banerjee, in her letter, voiced concerns over reports of exorbitant spending in this year’s Lok Sabha elections.

Amendments to RTI Act passed in Rajya Sabha, Opposition alleges intimidation by government

The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed controversial amendments to the Right to Information Act as Opposition members walked out of the House in protest. The Lok Sabha had already passed the amendment bill last week, and the legislation will now go to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.