Here are the day’s updates:

Floods: Normalcy returns to Kerala, red alert issued in Karnataka

After facing a spate of torrential rain and floods, a semblance of normalcy returned to Kerala on Thursday as water receded in many low-lying areas. The toll in the state rose to 104, while 36 people are still missing. But no red alert was sounded in any of the 14 districts of the state.

NRC: Assam Police to investigate allegations of misinformation on process

The Criminal Investigation Department of the Assam Police will investigate a complaint that misinformation is being spread about the ongoing National Register of Citizens process. It will also look into allegations that donations are being collected using social media to help applicants.

Shah Faesal shifted to Srinagar hotel after being detained: Reports

Kashmiri bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal was taken to a makeshift detention centre at the Centaur Hotel in Srinagar, officials told PTI on Thursday. Faesal, who was detained at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and sent back to Kashmir on Wednesday, was reportedly moved from his residence to the hotel the same night.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi says ‘loud and motivated’ conduct in courts erodes judiciary’s decorum, dignity

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday said the decorum and dignity of the judiciary was being eroded by “loud and motivated” conduct in courts. Speaking during the Independence Day celebrations at the Supreme Court, he added that such “indecorous acts” must be identified and quarantined.

UNSC to discuss Kashmir at a closed-door meeting on Friday after Pakistan’s request, say reports

The United Nations Security Council is expected to discuss India’s scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. “The UNSC will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16,” UNSC President Joanna Wronecka said.

Ravidas temple demolition: Bhim Army leader charged with sedition in UP for ‘inflammatory speech’

Dalit outfit Bhim Army’s Vice President Manjeet Singh Nautiyal has been charged with sedition in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district for making an “inflammatory speech” on social media.

Pakistan observes ‘black day’ in protest against J&K situation even as India celebrates Independence

Pakistan on Thursday observed a “Black Day” in protest against New Delhi’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy and the security lockdown imposed in the state since August 5. Pakistan’s protests coincided with India’s Independence Day celebrations.

Congress criticises Narendra Modi’s remarks on economy in I-Day speech, claims PM is ‘grandstanding’

The Congress on Thursday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, saying it was an example of “grandstanding – in other words, PM Modi’s modus operandi”. The Opposition party questioned how the Centre would invest Rs 100 lakh crore for infrastructure development, and added that the Goods and Services Tax did not achieve its “one nation, one tax” goal.

Assam CM defends NRC re-verification plea in Supreme Court, says aim is to get ‘error-free’ list

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday justified his government’s decision to file an appeal in the Supreme Court for sample re-verification of the draft National Register of Citizens exercise, saying the petition was registered to ensure an error-free document. He made these comments while hoisting the national flag at a function to celebrate India’s 73rd Independence Day. He said the state government was committed to ensure safety of every genuine Indian citizen in Assam.

Tamil Nadu: Vellore to be split into two districts and a taluka, says CM Edappadi Palaniswami

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday announced that Vellore district would be trifurcated, and promised that his administration would pursue the two-language formula. The chief minister said two new districts – Ranipet and Tirupattur – would be carved out of Vellore while KV Kuppam would be turned into a new taluka.

Pakistan: Two pilots who downed Abhinandan Varthaman’s jet will receive top military awards

Two Pakistan Air Force officers will receive the country’s top military awards for showing courage during an aerial combat with India in February, the Army said on Wednesday. The announcement came hours after the Indian Air Force announced that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, whose plane was brought down during the dogfight, would be conferred with the Vir Chakra on Independence Day.

‘Immediately end J&K communications blackout,’ Amnesty International tells PM Modi

Non-governmental organisation Amnesty International India on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately lift the communications blackout in Jammu and Kashmir, and hold dialogue with the people of the state.

Assam: Research scholar booked for 2017 Facebook post about eating beef

The Assam Police on Wednesday filed a suo motu case against a Gauhati University research scholar in connection with a two-year-old deleted Facebook post about consumption of beef. The post was widely shared after a local news portal reportedly published it on Wednesday.

‘High jumps instead of incremental progress’: PM Modi unveils plan to speed up growth

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated his government’s goal of growing India’s economy to $5 trillion by 2024, and said India needed to make “high jumps” instead of making incremental progress. He made the remarks during the Independence Day speech. Modi said the time had come to think of ways to boost exports.

Delhi: Women can travel for free on government buses from October 29, says CM Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that women can travel for free in Delhi Transport Corporation and cluster buses from October 29. He made the announcement at the state government’s Independence Day event at Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi. In June, Kejriwal had announced a proposal to allow women to travel for free on the Delhi Metro, as well as on Delhi Transport Corporation buses.

PM Modi expresses concern over ‘population explosion’, says family planning is a form of patriotism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over “population explosion” in the country and said that the central and state governments should launch measures to deal with the matter. “Keeping your family small is also a form of patriotism,” he said.

PM Modi calls for making India free from single-use plastic, asks for ‘first big step’ on October 2Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged citizens to eliminate single-use plastic and use cloth and jute bags instead. He urged authorities across the country to make arrangements for collecting plastic in the “first strong step” in the direction on October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.

Pehlu Khan lynching: ‘We have lost faith in law,’ says victim’s son after acquittal of accused

The family members of dairy farmer Pehlu Khan, who was lynched by a mob in 2017, have expressed shock and disappointment at the acquittal of all six adults accused in the case. A court in Rajasthan’s Alwar district had on Wednesday acquitted the accused, giving them the benefit of doubt.

Independence Day: ‘We neither delay solving problems nor do we let them worsen,’ says PM Modi on J&K

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the old system in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh encouraged nepotism, corruption and dynasty rule. The special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which has now been revoked, also led to discrimination against women, children, Dalits, Adivasis and sanitation workers, said Modi.

PM Narendra Modi announces creation of post of Chief of Defence Staff to head three services

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced the creation of a post of a Chief of Defence Staff to oversee all three defence services. Modi made the announcement while addressing the nation from the Red Fort in Delhi on India’s 73rd Independence Day. The Chief of Defence Staff will be above the three service chiefs – of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

J&K governor says decision on Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the state will be taken at a ‘convenient time’

The back-and-forth over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s proposed visit to Jammu and Kashmir continued on Wednesday as the state governor Satya Pal Malik said the administration is occupied with arrangements for Independence Day and will get in touch with the Wayanad MP at a “convenient time”. This came after Gandhi, earlier in the day, accepted Malik’s invitation to visit the state without any condition and asked him when he could come.

J&K: Governor to hoist tricolour in Srinagar on I-Day, stringent security measures put in place

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik will hoist the Indian flag in Srinagar on Thursday, on the occasion of India’s 73rd Independence Day. Restrictions in Kashmir, put in place on August 4, a day before the Indian government scrapped the special status of the state, were eased on Wednesday to allow public and traffic movement.

I-Day speech: ‘We neither delay solving problems nor do we let them worsen,’ says Modi on J&K

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday addressed the nation from the Red Fort in his first Independence Day speech since returning to power in May. He spoke about topics such as Jammu and Kashmir, economic growth, population explosion and reducing use of plastic.

Unnao case: Court frames fresh rape charges against MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his aide

A court in Delhi on Wednesday framed fresh charges against Uttar Pradesh MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his accomplice Shashi Singh for allegedly raping a teenager in Unnao in 2017. The court said Sengar has to be tried as a public servant since he is an MLA.

Ex-Kolkata Mayor and TMC leader Sovan Chatterjee joins BJP

Former Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday. The Trinamool Congress MLA from Behala Purba Assembly constituency was considered a close aide of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He was also reportedly involved in raising funds for the party.