J&K special status: Pakistan to downgrade diplomatic relations, suspend trade with India

Pakistan on Wednesday decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India and suspend bilateral trade after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Dawn reported.

After a meeting of the National Security Council, the Pakistani government decided to raise the Kashmir matter at the United Nations Security Council, as threatened by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. During the meeting, it was also decided to review India-Pakistan bilateral arrangements.

Srinagar: 17-year-old boy dies after jumping into river to escape from CRPF jawans, says report

A 17-year-old boy from Palpora area of Srinagar died on Monday after being confronted by Central Reserve Police Force jawans on a footbridge, HuffPost India reported on Wednesday. Osaib Altaf died after he jumped into a river but failed to swim to safety.

There have also been at least 13 cases of pump action gun injuries since Monday, when the Indian government passed a bill in the Rajya Sabha to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution, the news website reported. The state has been under an indefinite curfew since Sunday.

Two Railways staff allegedly molest woman on board Rajdhani Express, suspended

The Indian Railways on Wednesday suspended a train ticket examiner and a pantry staffer after they allegedly molested a woman on board the Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express, reported PTI. The woman was also drugged by the railway staff, one of her acquaintances alleged.

Devotees’ faith is evidence of Ayodhya site being Ram’s birthplace, deity’s lawyer tells SC

The counsel for deity Ram Lalla told a five-judge Constitution bench on Wednesday that the faith of the devotees was evidence that the disputed site in Ayodhya was the birthplace of the deity. Senior lawyer K Prasaran said that the site itself had become a personification of the deity and an object of worship for Hindus.

Pro-India banners seen on Islamabad streets after J&K loses special status, one arrested

Pakistani police on Tuesday removed several pro-India banners that appeared in parts of the country’s capital Islamabad, including in the high-security Red Zone, PTI reported. The banners came after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and bifurcated the state into two Union territories. Police arrested one person in connection with the banners from Islamabad’s Blue Area late on Tuesday.

Sushma Swaraj’s body taken to Lodhi Road crematorium in New Delhi

The body of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was taken from the party headquarters to Lodhi Road crematorium in New Delhi, where she will be cremated with full state honours. Swaraj died of cardiac arrest at All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Tuesday night.

Parliament: Budget Session ends, Venkaiah Naidu calls it best session in 17 years for Rajya Sabha

The Budget Session of Parliament ended on Wednesday after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned indefinitely. The Lok Sabha had been adjourned sine die on Tuesday evening. Rajya Sabha Chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu described it as a “highly productive” session.

Parliament approves bill to increase number of Supreme Court judges from 31 to 34

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from 31 to 34 in order to reduce the pendency of cases, PTI reported. The Lok Sabha had passed the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill, 2019, on Monday.

Kerala church rape case: Nun who protested against accused bishop expelled for her ‘lifestyle’

Kerala nun Lucy Kalappura, who took part in the protests against rape-accused bishop Franco Mulakkal last year, was on Monday expelled from her congregation for having a “lifestyle in violation of the proper law”. In her dismissal letter, the Franciscan Clarist Congregation said Kalappura had been unable to give a “satisfactory explanation” for buying a car, taking a loan for it, getting a driver’s licence and publishing poems. The congregation comes under the Roman Catholic Church.

Filmmakers rush to register titles related to Article 370 after Parliament ends J&K’s special status

Producers’ associations have witnessed a spike in applications from filmmakers to register titles related to Article 370 following the decision of the Union government on Tuesday to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by hollowing out the constitutional provision.

Payal Tadvi suicide: ‘Why has no action been taken against department head?’ Bombay HC asks police

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the prosecution why the statements of a key witness in the Payal Tadvi suicide case had not been registered yet before a magistrate. The police informed the court that they had prepared a letter recommending an inquiry against the Yi Ching Ling, the head of the gynaecology and obstetrics department at BYL Nair Hospital, where Tadvi used to work.

Babri Masjid demolition: Congress could have prevented it, says Digvijaya Singh

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has said that his party could have prevented the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 but the government did not act, PTI reported on Tuesday. Congress’ PV Narasimha Rao was the prime minister at the time. Blaming the then Congress government’s inaction, Singh said: “I personally feel guilty of what happened at Babri Masjid.”

Schools and colleges closed in Goa and Karnataka’s Mangaluru region because of heavy rains

Schools and colleges were shut in Goa and Karnataka’s Mangaluru region on Wednesday because of heavy rains and a flood warning. The India Meteorological Department has also predicted heavy rain in Maharashtra’s capital Mumbai and adjoining areas such as Palghar and Raigad.

J&K: Three policemen injured in Poonch, Srinagar pockmarked with concertina wires and checkpoints

Three policemen, including a deputy superintendent of police, were injured on Tuesday after violence broke out in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district over Parliament’s decision to end the state’s special status by hollowing out Article 370 of Constitution. Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind declared the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370.

Kerala journalist death: Suspended IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman gets bail

A court in Kerala on Tuesday granted bail to Indian Administrative Services officer Sriram Venkitaraman, who was arrested and suspended after he allegedly killed journalist K Muhammed Basheer last week. Judicial First Class Magistrate Aneesa A granted bail to Venkitaraman after the prosecution failed to produce any scientific evidence to prove that he was in an inebriated condition at the time of the accident.

Sushma Swaraj to be cremated with full state honours at 3 pm today

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday night, will be cremated with full state honours on Wednesday at the Lodhi Road crematorium. “Her mortal remains will be kept at her residence for people to pay respects,” BJP Working President JP Nadda said. “At 3 pm, she will be taken to Lodhi Road crematorium, where her last rites will be performed with full state honours.”

‘Unprecedented horror in Kashmir’, says former IAS officer Shah Faesal

Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement President Shah Faesal on Tuesday termed the situation in the Valley as one of “unprecedented horror” following the decision of the Union government to scrap the state’s special status under Article 370. “Everyone is heartbroken. A sense of defeat written on every face. Fall. From citizens to subjects. History has taken a catastrophic turn for all of us. People are numb. A people whose land, identity, history, was stolen, in broad daylight,” Faesal tweeted.

‘A new dawn awaits’: PM Modi congratulates J&K, Ladakh after bill to scrap special status is passed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh after the Lok Sabha passed two resolutions and a bill, scrapping special status for the the three regions and granting them union territory status. “For years, vested interest groups who believed in emotional blackmail never cared for people’s empowerment. J&K is now free from their shackles. A new dawn, better tomorrow awaits,” Modi tweeted.

Ayodhya hearing in SC: Nirmohi Akhara seeks control of entire disputed land

Nirmohi Akhara, which is one of the parties involved in the Ayodhya land dispute case, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that no Muslim was allowed to enter the structure since 1934 and sought possession and management of the entire 2.77 acre disputed land. A five-judge constitution bench began the daily hearings in the case earlier in the day after a mediation panel set up in March failed to resolve the dispute.

SC asks nine states to file responses about procedure of evicting Adivasis from forest land

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said nine states have not followed the procedure in rejecting the claims of Adivasis over forest land. The court said that the eviction of around 11.8 lakh allegedly illegal forest dwellers was an important matter. “Nine states say they have not followed the procedure,” a bench of Justices MR Shah and BR Gavai said. “We would like to be addressed first on this. It is an important matter.”

Congress’ Jyotiraditya Scindia supports Centre on J&K, says ‘it is in country’s interest’

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday supported the Centre’s decision to remove special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir and to bifurcate it into two Union Territories. He is the eighth member to go against the party’s stand.