Malaysian PM defends criticism of India on Kashmir, says he had spoken to Narendra Modi too

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday defended his comments about Kashmir, which had upset India, and said that the remarks were merely an extension of his discussion with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when the two met in Vladivostok, Russia. India had cancelled the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution in August, leading to outrage from Pakistan, seen as an ally of Malaysia.

Rafale: France hands over first fighter jet, Rajnath Singh says it’s a ‘historic day’ for India

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday received the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets on behalf of the Indian Air Force at the Merignac air base near the French port city of Bordeaux. A ‘shastra puja’ [worship of weapons] was also held as the Dussehra festival falls on Tuesday, as does India’s 87th Air Force Day. Top military officials from France as well as senior officials of the jet manufacturer, Dassault Aviation, were present at the handover ceremony.

Sanjiv Bhatt’s bail plea rejected as he does not respect courts or the truth, says Gujarat HC

The Gujarat High Court has said that it rejected former state police chief Sanjiv Bhatt’s plea for suspension of his sentence because he has “scant respect for the courts” and “scant regard for the truth”. Bhatt is currently in prison after being convicted in a 1990 custodial death case.

‘It’s a lie to say RSS has nothing to do with lynchings,’ says Maharashtra Congress leader

The Congress on Tuesday criticised Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s claim that lynching was a “western construct” and should not be mixed with the Indian context to harm the country’s reputation.

‘Previous governments did nothing for OBCs, Modi formed panel to address problems,’ says Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed that previous governments did not address the problems of socially and economically backward classes, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed the Other Backward Classes commissions.

FIR against celebrities: Left organisations in Kerala send 1.5 lakh copies of same open letter to PM

Members of the Students Federation of India and the Democratic Youth Federation of India – the student and youth organisations of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – in Kerala have sent 1.5 lakh copies of the open letter that 49 eminent personalities had written to Narendra Modi in July. They are protesting against the first information report filed against the public figures who had written to the prime minister about mob attacks and lynchings. They dared Modi to book them for sending the letter as well.

Don’t let ‘mann ki baat’ become ‘maun ki baat’: Shashi Tharoor to Modi after FIR against celebrities

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said people are “deeply disturbed” by the first information report filed against 49 eminent personalities who wrote to the prime minister against mob attacks and lynchings in July. In a letter posted on Twitter, the parliamentarian from Thiruvananthapuram urged Modi to welcome dissent and assure the country of his commitment to uphold freedom of expression.

Jammu and Kashmir: One militant killed in encounter with security forces in Awantipora, say police

A militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Awantipora town of Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, said the Kashmir Zone Police. The militant’s identity and the group he was affiliated with are yet to be ascertained.

J&K: India attacks Pakistan for ‘weaponising women’s rights issues for self-serving political gains’

India on Monday criticised Pakistan for “weaponising women’s rights issues for self-serving political gains” at the United Nations, PTI reported. India’s First Secretary to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said that it was ironic that a country where women’s rights violations go unpunished was making “baseless” comments about India.

Balakot airstrike marked a major shift in national security policy, says IAF chief RKS Bhadauria

Indian Air Force chief RKS Bhadauria on Tuesday said the Balakot airstrike marked a major shift in the government’s policy on national security, reported ANI. Indian Air Force jets had struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist camp in Balakot in Khyber Paktunkhwa province of Pakistan on February 26, in retaliation for the killing of 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in Pulwama on February 14.

Jaipur hotel bars Muslim man and Hindu woman from sharing room, cites police instructions: Report

Hotel chain Oyo has initiated an inquiry into one of its properties in Jaipur that barred a Muslim man and Hindu woman from sharing a room last week, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. Police have denied that they issued such a guideline, as the hotel had allegedly told the pair.

Ramachandra Guha gets honorary foreign member award from American Historical Association

The American Historical Association on Monday announced that historian Ramachandra Guha will receive the honorary foreign member prize this year. Guha is the third Indian historian after Jadunath Sarkar and Romila Thapar to be honoured with this award since 1886.

Madhya Pradesh: Uma Bharti’s nephew booked after his car rams into motorcycle, killing 3 people

Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Rahul Singh Lodhi has been booked by police after his car reportedly crashed into a motorbike and killed three people in Tikamgarh district on Monday. A case has been registered against Lodhi, who is the nephew of BJP veteran and former Union minister Uma Bharti, for causing death by negligence.

Lynching is a ‘western construct’ used to defame India, claims RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said certain episodes of “social violence” were called lynching to defame the country and the Hindu society and cause fear among a few communities. Bhagwat claimed that lynching was a “western construct” and should not be mixed with the Indian context to harm the country’s reputation.

Centre sets up 19-member government panel for better coordination on money laundering

The Centre on Monday set up a 19-member Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee for better cooperation among government departments to curb money laundering. The committee will be chaired by the revenue secretary.

HC allows Goa to issue licences for beach shacks, says no proof of adverse impact on environment

The Bombay High Court in Goa on Monday set aside a National Green Tribunal order and allowed the state government to issue temporary licences to set up shacks on beaches.

Telangana transport strike: Employees who didn’t return to work chose to get dismissed, says CM

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday defended his decision to sack nearly 48,000 protesting transport employees who defied his order to return to work. He said he had not dismissed them but they had “opted for self-dismissal” by not reporting for duty before a deadline he gave.

J&K: Over 250 eminent citizens call the situation unacceptable, urge PM to roll back restrictions

Over 250 academics, journalists and political leaders have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling the ongoing restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir unacceptable. They urged the Centre to withdraw the lockdown in place since August 5, and hold Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. “Let the people decide on Article 370 and statehood,” read their letter sent on October 6.

J&K: Time for India to lift curbs, give Kashmiris same rights as other Indians, says US House panel

A United States House committee on Monday said that the communication blockade in Jammu and Kashmir was having a “devastating impact on the lives and welfare of everyday Kashmiris”. The committee plans to meet on October 22 to review the situation in the region.

“It’s time for India to lift these restrictions and afford Kashmiris the same rights and privileges as any other Indian citizen,” the Foreign Affairs Committee said in a tweet.

Rajnath Singh reaches Paris to receive first Rafale fighter jet, will meet President Macron

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday reached France’s capital city of Paris for a three-day visit during which he will receive the first of 36 Rafale fighter jets. He is also expected to hold discussions with his French counterpart Florence Parly, PTI reported.

“Delighted to be in France,” Singh tweeted after reaching Paris. “This great nation is India’s important strategic partner and our special relationship goes far beyond the realm of formal ties. My visit to France is aimed at expanding the existing strategic partnership between both the countries.”

Farooq Abdullah demands unconditional release of all detenues in Kashmir

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah has demanded the unconditional release of those detained or arrested since the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August, PTI reported, quoting his party. A National Conference delegation had met Abdullah on Sunday for the first time since he was detained at his home in Srinagar.

Ajay Kumar Lallu appointed Uttar Pradesh Congress chief

The Congress on Monday appointed Ajay Kumar Lallu as its Uttar Pradesh president, replacing actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar. Lallu is a Congress MLA from the state’s Tamkuhi Raj constituency.

The state will have four vice presidents – Virender Chaudhary, Pankaj Malik, Laliteshpati Tripathi, and Deepak Kumar, the party said, adding that 12 general secretaries have been appointed.