Here are the day’s top updates:

Shiv Sena asks if Muslim community will pay heed to Modi’s message on population explosion

The Shiv Sena on Friday referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech to attack the Muslim community. In an editorial in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana, it asked when will the community understand how a “small family and national interest are beneficial?”

Imran Khan says Modi government’s ‘fascist tactics’ in Jammu and Kashmir will fail miserably

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the Indian government’s “fascist tactics” in Jammu and Kashmir would end up as a miserable failure as it was an attempt to “smother the Kashmiri liberation struggle”. “The fascist, Hindu Supremacist Modi Government should know that while armies, militants and terrorists can be defeated by superior forces; history tells us that when a nation unites in a freedom struggle and does not fear death, no force can stop it from achieving its goal,” Khan tweeted.

J&K: Activist Sandeep Pandey put under house arrest again for planning protest in Lucknow

Social activist and Magsaysay Award winner Sandeep Pandey was on Friday not allowed to participate in a candlelight march at GPO Park in Hazratganj, Lucknow. The rally was in protest against the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

Sexual harassment case: Major general dismissed after Army chief confirms court martial ruling

A major general of the Indian Army has been dismissed following trial in a case of sexual harassment involving a captain-rank woman officer. He has reportedly been denied pension. His dismissal was confirmed by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat. “The decision of the Chief of Army Staff was intimated to the Major General by the 2 Corps Commander Lieutenant General MJS Kahlon today in Ambala,” Army officials said.

Justice Kureshi’s elevation will be decided within a week, Centre tells Supreme Court

The central government on Friday told the Supreme Court that it would decide on the collegium’s recommendation to elevate Justice Akil Kureshi within a week. The top court had suggested on May 10 that Kureshi be appointed as the chief justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Schools to reopen in Kashmir next week, more restrictions to be eased gradually

Restrictions in the Kashmir Valley will be eased in the coming days “in an orderly way”, with schools set to reopen next week, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said on Friday. Twelve of the 22 districts in the state were now functioning normally, and five districts had limited restrictions, he said.

On ‘no first use’ nuclear policy, Rajnath Singh says future will depend on circumstances

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that India has always adhered to its “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons but “what happens in the future will depend on circumstances”.

Unnao rape-accused MLA Sengar gets prime spot in Independence Day ad, beside Modi and Adityanath

Rape and murder accused MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar found prominence on the front page of a newspaper on Independence Day on Thursday as he shared advertisement space with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and other leaders.

Rajasthan: Father of Dalit man allegedly lynched in Alwar in July has committed suicide, says family

The father of a 28-year-old Dalit man allegedly lynched last month in Rajasthan’s Alwar district died on Thursday, with his family claiming that he committed suicide after receiving regular threats to drop the case against his son’s suspected attackers, The Indian Express reported.

‘Pehlu Khan verdict shocking, new Rajasthan law for mob lynching commendable,’ says Priyanka Gandhi

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday said the acquittal of the six accused in the Pehlu Khan case was shocking. Praising the Rajasthan government for enacting a law against mob lynching, Gandhi said, “I hope that a good example of it will be set by facilitating justice in the Pehlu Khan case.”

Hope finance minister and tax officials heard PM’s call to respect wealth creators, says Chidambaram

Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis in his Independence Day speech on family planning, respect for wealth creators and ban on single-plastic use. “Of the three exhortations, I hope the finance minister and her legion of tax officials and investigators heard the PM’s second exhortation loud and clear,” he tweeted.

Images seen at Ayodhya’s disputed site go against Islam, no mosque was there: Deity’s lawyer to SC

The advocate representing the deity Ram Lalla in the Ayodhya case continued to argue in the Supreme Court on Friday that the disputed site had a temple and not a mosque in the past. CS Vaidyanathan said that ownership cannot be claimed on a place just because one offers prayers there.

On Vajpayee’s death anniversary, Mamata Banerjee tweets a reminder of his Kashmir policy

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday tweeted a famous quote by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee about his Kashmir policy in a tribute on his first death anniversary. Some political leaders have said that the manner in which the region’s special status was withdrawn by the Centre last week is a departure from that policy.

Supreme Court adjourns hearing of ‘Kashmir Times’ editor’s plea against curbs on media freedom

The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing of Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin’s plea challenging the restrictions imposed on journalists in Jammu and Kashmir, Live Law reported.

The court said it would like to give the government a little time to review the situation.

Kolkata: BJP MP Roopa Ganguly’s son crashes car into wall of club, reports say he was drunk

Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former Bengali actor Roopa Ganguly’s son on Thursday night crashed his car into a wall of south Kolkata’s Golf Garden, PTI reported. Local residents alleged that 20-year-old Akash Mukhopadhyay was in an inebriated condition. Some reports said he was arrested on charges of driving dangerously, though Ganguly claimed that he left the city on Friday morning.

Flood situation improves in Kerala, at least five killed in Madhya Pradesh rains

Heavy rains and floods continued to disrupt life in parts of India on Thursday even as the situation improved in Kerala, where the water receded.

At least five people have died in Madhya Pradesh since Monday and 100 people have been rescued, reported The Hindu.

Over 250 scholars, artists and activists express concern about ‘inhuman clampdown’ in J&K

More than 250 scholars, artists, activists, and others on Thursday issued a statement to express their concern about the “inhuman clampdown” that has been in place since New Delhi ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state on August 5.

Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging Centre’s J&K decisions today

The Supreme Court on Friday will hear a petition filed by Kashmir Times Executive Editor Anuradha Bhasin against restrictions imposed on journalists in Jammu and Kashmir and a writ petition filed by advocate ML Sharma challenging the presidential order hollowing out Article 370, which granted the state special constitutional status.

Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter questions Amit Shah about law under which she has been detained

Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti on Thursday wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah questioning him about New Delhi’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and the law under which she had been detained in her home.

Jammu and Kashmir: Local journalist detained in Tral, family says no idea about charges

A Kashmiri journalist working with a local English daily has been detained by Indian security forces, his family said on Thursday. Irfan Amin Malik was taken into custody during a midnight raid at his house in Tral in Pulwama district. He is currently lodged at Tral police station.

All 24 Indians aboard seized Iranian tanker released, says Ministry of External Affairs

All 24 Indian crew members on the Grace 1 Iranian tanker were released after being detained by the Royal Gibraltar Police last month, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Thursday.

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 told reporters.