J&K: Landline connectivity restored, says Union home ministry; schools and banks functioning

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday said landline phone connections had been restored in Jammu and Kashmir while mobile postpaid connections were functioning in Kupwara district. The ministry tweeted updates received from the state government. It said schools were functioning and attendance of teachers and students were improving. “All health institutions are fully functional,” it added.

Nitin Gadkari urges states not to blunt amended Motor Vehicles Act a day after Gujarat reduced fines

Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday urged states not to weaken the amended Motor Vehicles Act that has provisions for steep penalties for traffic violations. Gadkari’s appeal came a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat reduced the fines. “This isn’t a revenue income scheme, are you not worried about deaths of 1,50,000 people?” the minister asked at an event in New Delhi.

Doctors write to Amit Shah for permission to assess healthcare situation in Jammu and Kashmir

Doctors from across the country, belonging to the Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, have written to Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday, requesting permission to visit Kashmir to review the healthcare situation. The doctors cited media reports emerging from the region that contradicted the position of the authorities, and said it was important to assess the exact situation in different parts of the Valley.

Kashmir: UN secretary general asks India, Pakistan to resolve dispute through dialogue

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday expressed concerns about any potential escalation of tension between India and Pakistan after New Delhi withdrew the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. He urged both the countries to deal with the Kashmir dispute through dialogue.

Man should be a ‘loyal husband’, ‘great lover’: Supreme Court on interfaith marriage in Chhattisgarh

The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard a case of an interfaith marriage from Chhattisgarh, in which a Muslim man had purportedly converted to Hinduism so that the family of the woman he married would accept him. The woman’s family, however, claimed that the man’s conversion was a sham and that he had converted back to Islam.

Rajasthan: Car in RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s convoy hits motorcycle, kills six-year-old boy

The Rajasthan Police on Wednesday said a car in the cavalcade of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat hit a two-wheeler and killed a six-year-old boy in Alwar district of Rajasthan. The accident took place when Bhagwat was returning from a programme in Tijara area. He was in Rajasthan to attend a three-day RSS coordination meeting in Pushkar. His convoy had eight to 10 cars that accompanied him.

Assam: Bodoland organisations demand separate state, praise Centre for bifurcating J&K

Organisations in Assam agitating for the cause of a separate Bodoland on Tuesday praised the Centre’s move to remove the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate it into Union Territories.

Former IAS officer PK Mishra appointed principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The Centre on Wednesday appointed former Indian Administrative Service officer Pramod Kumar Mishra the new principal secretary to Narendra Modi, and former Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha to the post of principal advisor to the prime minister.

India says it prefers direct talks between Afghanistan government and the Taliban

India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin said on Tuesday that the country preferred direct talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban terrorist group, PTI reported. Akbaruddin was speaking at the United Nations Security Council.

‘Some people get irritated when they hear the word cow’, says Narendra Modi in Mathura

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said some people in the country get irritated when they hear the words “Om” or “gau” (cow). He was in Mathura in Uttar Pradesh to launch the National Animal Disease Control Programme for eradicating foot and mouth disease and brucellosis in livestock, News18 reported.

West Bengal: Man allegedly lynched in Asansol on child-lifting suspicions

A man was allegedly lynched in West Bengal’s Burdwan district on Wednesday morning on the suspicion that he was a child abductor, the Hindustan Times reported. The incident took place in Salanpur area of Asansol around 6.30 am.

Protest in Bengaluru against DK Shivakumar’s arrest; 5,000 police personnel deployed along the route

Thousands of people affiliated to Congress and various Vokkaliga organisations held a protest rally on Wednesday in Bengaluru against the arrest of Karnataka Congress leader DK Shivakumar, The News Minute reported.

INX Media case: P Chidambaram moves Delhi High Court seeking bail

Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday approached the Delhi High Court seeking bail in the INX Media case, PTI reported. Chidambaram also challenged the trial court’s order that sent him to 14 days’ judicial custody in the case. The Congress leader is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

J&K: Pakistani minister says Indian Medical Association’s criticism of Lancet article was immature

Pakistan Health Minister Zafar Mirza has written an article in British medical journal The Lancet in support of its last month’s editorial on public health in Kashmir. Mirza condemned the Indian Medical Association’s criticism of the journal’s editorial, saying it was “akin to shooting the messenger”.

Unnao rape: Special court at AIIMS begins in camera proceedings, to record complainant’s statement

A special court set up at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Wednesday began in camera proceedings in the Unnao rape case. District Judge Dharmesh Sharma will record the statement of the complainant. In-camera proceedings are not open to the public and the press.

Bhima Koregaon case: Rights group condemns action against DU professor, calls out ‘state terrorism’

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties on Tuesday condemned the police action against Delhi University professor Hany Babu, saying that the range of legal provisions invoked suggest that the government is on a “fishing expedition”, hoping to incriminate him “one way or the other”.

J&K: Lashkar militant who fired at civilians in Sopore killed in gunfight, say police

The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Wednesday said a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant was killed in an encounter with security forces personnel in Sopore district. The police identified him as Asif Maqbool Bhat, and said he was responsible for the attack on four civilians, including a minor, on Saturday, in Dangerpora area of Sopore.

Parts of American media are showing a harmful perspective on Kashmir, says Indian envoy to US

India’s Ambassador to the United States Harsh Vardhan Shringla defended India’s move to revoke special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and said sections of the American media had pushed forward a perspective that is “inimical” to New Delhi’s interest.

Union minister for home affairs claims unemployment figures are wrong, no one is losing jobs

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai claimed on Tuesday that unemployment figures were incorrect and no one in the country was losing their jobs. On May 31, the Centre released a report confirming that unemployment in the country stood at 6.1% of the total labour force in 2017-’18 – a 45-year high.

Goldman Sachs vice president allegedly siphons off $5.4 million to pay poker debts, arrested

The Bengaluru Police on Tuesday arrested a vice president of global investment firm Goldman Sachs for allegedly siphoning off $5.4 million (Rs 38.73 crore) to pay debts he incurred at playing poker. Ashwani Jhunjhunwala allegedly committed the crime by logging in to the company’s internal computer systems.

Retrieving Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is Modi government’s next step, says Union minister

Union minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said that scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was the biggest achievement in the first 100 days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term. Getting back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is the next step on the agenda, Singh said.

Startups in the cow dung and urine business could soon get up to 60% government funding: Report

Startups that intend to commercialise cow dung and urine are likely to soon get up to 60% of their initial funds from the government, The Times of India reported on Monday, quoting the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, or the national cow commission. Commercial use of such “by-products” would encourage people not to discard cows that have stopped giving milk, the commission’s chairperson Vallabh Kathiria told the newspaper.

Andhra Pradesh: Former CM Chandrababu Naidu, his son Nara Lokesh placed under house arrest

Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh were put under house arrest on Wednesday morning, amid tension in the state due to a rally organised by the party. Former Andhra Pradesh minister Bhuma Akhila Priya was taken into preventive detention at Novotel hotel in Vijayawada, while former MLA Tangirala Sowmya was put under house arrest in Nandigama town. Priya and his supporters were protesting in front of Sowmya’s house.

Gates Foundation award to Modi will demoralise India’s civil society, say South Asians in US

A group of South Asians in the United States has urged the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to withdraw an award it plans to give Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month. Accusing Modi of human rights violations, the group said that if the organisation wanted to encourage Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, it could instead honour community-based organisations and grassroots advocates.

Rajasthan truck owner fined Rs 1.41 lakh under new Motor Vehicles Act in Delhi

A truck driver from Rajasthan was asked to pay Rs 1,41,600 as penalty under the amended Motor Vehicles Act after traffic authorities in Delhi caught him for several offences, including overloading. The truck’s owner, Harman Ram Bhambhu from Bikaner, said that his driver was caught on September 5, after which the vehicle was seized. It was released four days later.

‘Brahmins are held in high regard by virtue of birth,’ says Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, draws flak

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s recent remarks praising Brahmins were condemned widely on Tuesday. At a meeting of the Akhil Brahmin Mahasabha in Rajasthan’s Kota city on Sunday, Birla had said Brahmins were held in high regard from birth because of their dedication, sacrifice, and for the guidance they provide to other communities.

Archbishop of Canterbury apologises for Jallianwala Bagh massacre

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, on Tuesday visited the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial in the city of Amritsar in Punjab, and apologised for the massacre by British officials 100 years ago. “I feel a deep sense of grief, humility and profound shame having visited the site of the horrific Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar today,” Welby tweeted. “Here, a great number of Sikhs – as well as Hindus, Muslims and Christians – were shot dead by British troops in 1919.”

Gujarat government reduces traffic violation fines increased under amended Motor Vehicles Act

The Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat government on Tuesday announced a reduction in the penalty amounts for traffic violations. The fines were increased under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, which came into effect on September 1.

J&K: Five men call for ‘post-370 solution’ in Valley, their party allowed to hold press meet

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday allowed first political activity since the Centre revoked the special status of the state on August 5. A party identified as Jammu Kashmir Political Movement (I) addressed a press conference at the Media Facilitation Centre. The head of the party is former journalist Shahid Khan. He was accompanied by militant-turned-counter-insurgent and former Congress leader Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray, Asif Abdullah, advocate Raja Ashraf and Omar Ahmad.

Millennials’ preference for Ola and Uber adding to auto sector crisis, claims Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday blamed the “millennial mindset” of relying on ride-hailing services such as Uber and Ola instead of buying their own vehicles for the crisis in the Indian automobile sector. “The automobile and components industry has been affected by BS-VI and the mindsets of millennial, who now prefer to have Ola and Uber rather than committing to buying an automobile,” Sitharaman told reporters in New Delhi.