Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the security breach at Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s home was a “coincidence” as her brother Rahul Gandhi was also about to arrive around the same time. He said a high-level inquiry has been ordered and three officers responsible for the security breach have been suspended.
The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Tuesday said its satellite has found debris of Chandrayaan 2’s lander, Vikram, on the lunar surface. NASA’s confirmation came after an Indian computer programmer and mechanical engineer named Shanmuga Subramanian contacted its project.
Two civilians were killed and nine were injured on Tuesday in alleged shelling by the Pakistan Army along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district. The civilians were identified as 35-year-old Gulnaz Akhtar and 16-year-old Shoib Ahmad, a police officer said.
The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, amid a walkout by the Congress MPs. The Lok Sabha had already passed the bill on November 27.
Terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have declined in number since the region lost its special status in August, even as cross-border infiltration attempts have increased, the Ministry for Home Affairs told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The central government’s “one nation, one ration card” initiative will come into force across India from June 1, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan told Parliament on Tuesday, PTI reported. Eligible beneficiaries will be able to avail food grains under the National Food Security Act from any fair price shop in the country using the same ration card.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday castigated the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha alliance, saying they follow the politics of “deception” while the Bharatiya Janata Party believes in working for people, PTI reported. Modi, who addressed an election rally in Jharkhand’s Khunti district, defended his government’s decision to remove the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir, and spoke about the proposed construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband Robert Vadra on Tuesday said the government should not have removed her Special Protection Group security cover. He confirmed there was a “serious lapse” in security at their home last month, as reported by news outlets on Monday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday refuted last month’s media reports that claimed the death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in the assassination case of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, had been commuted to life term.
A large group of protestors gathered outside a hospital in Coimbatore on Monday, claiming that a wall that had collapsed amid heavy rain earlier in the day had been built to keep away Dalits. The hospital was carrying out autopsies of the 17 people who were killed when the 20-foot-high compound wall fell on three houses in Nadur village.
Jailed Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said only god can save India’s economy after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey claimed that gross domestic product numbers would soon lose its importance.
The United States space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Tuesday credited Indian engineer Shanmuga Subramanian for first finding the debris from the Chandrayaan-2 mission’s lander. The 33-year-old mechanical engineer from Chennai said he alerted the findings to both NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation. Subramanian said he received a good response from the scientists at NASA.
Senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, who represented the Sunni Waqf Board and other Muslim parties in the Ayodhya case in Supreme Court, on Tuesday said he has been sacked from the case.
“Just been sacked from the Babri case by AOR [advocate on record] Ejaz Maqbool, who was representing the Jamiat,” Dhavan wrote in a Facebook post. “Have sent formal letter accepting the ‘sacking’ without demur. No longer involved in the review or the case.”
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that she took suggestions from lawmakers to reduce personal income tax rates and it would be considered for its merit, The Times of India reported. The finance minister said she would not cut it to bring parity with the Centre’s decision to reduce corporate tax.
Industrialist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw on Monday said India Inc was “neither anti-national nor anti-government”, reported PTI. The Biocon chairperson and managing director’s comments come after veteran industrialist Rahul Bajaj’s remark that India Inc was afraid of criticising the Narendra Modi-led government.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said Central Bureau of Investigation Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya’s death should be reinvestigated if there is a demand and need for it. “If there is something in it [the demands], then maybe a re-investigation should be done,” Pawar, whose party recently formed the government in Maharashtra in alliance with the Shiv Sena and Congress, told a Marathi news channel.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has admitted to taking the help of Congress MLAs to raise matters related to Indore, which was her constituency, when her party was in power in Madhya Pradesh. Mahajan, who represented Indore in Parliament for 20 years, said she was always concerned about her constituency’s development. “If my government was there, I could not speak against it,” she said. I used to feel something should happen, someone should speak. I used to stealthily ask Jitu bhaiyya and Tulsibhai [Health Minister Tulsiram Silawat] to do something.”
Four men, including a former police constable, allegedly gangraped a minor girl in Odisha’s Puri district on Monday, Hindustan Times reported. The girl was waiting at a bus stand, when the four men in a car offered her to drop her home.
“But, instead of dropping her home, the four persons took her to an official quarter in Puri town and gangraped her this evening,” said Inspector Kulamani Sethi of Kumbharpada police station. The alleged incident occurred near Jhadeswari temple, which falls under the station’s jurisdiction, reported The New Indian Express.
The National Human Rights Commission on Monday issued notices to the Centre and all states and Union Territories seeking reports within six weeks on the standard operating procedures to deal with cases of sexual assault. It also asked for reports on the status of the Nirbhaya Fund including details about availability of the money and the amount spent during the last three years.
The notices were issued in light of the murder and alleged rape of a veterinarian in Hyderabad last week. On Monday, both Houses of Parliament discussed women’s safety, and MPs across party lines demanded stringent action against such crimes.
Nationalist Congress President chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had offered to work together and make his daughter Supriya Sule a minister in the Union Cabinet, but he had refused.
In an interview with a Marathi news channel, Pawar, however, rejected reports that the Modi government had offered to make him the president. “But there surely was an offer to make Supriya [Sule] a minister in the Modi-led cabinet,” Pawar added. Sule is a Lok Sabha member from Pune’s Baramati.
The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Tuesday said its satellite has found debris of Chandrayaan 2’s lander, Vikram, on the lunar surface. The Vikram lander had attempted a soft landing on the moon on September 7, but lost communication with the Indian Space Research Organisation minutes before touchdown.
The police in Hyderabad have issued an advisory to women, listing preventive measures they should take while travelling. The notice was issued in light of the murder and alleged rape of a veterinarian in the city last week. Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat urged women to inform either their friends or family members about their travel details, and share location, if possible. The police also advised women to send their contacts details of their mode of transport, including the number plate and drivers’ information.
The advisory drew criticism online. Incensed Twitter users said men should be taught not to rape. Some users suggested a similar notification for men.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday responded to the Opposition’s comments castigating her handling of the Indian economy, saying the Narendra Modi government was open to criticism. Earlier in the day, Opposition leaders in the Lok Sabha asked the Centre to take effective measures to revive the economy instead of “clutching at straws” to deal with the slowdown. Figures released last week showed that Gross Domestic Product growth slumped to a six-year low in October even as industrial output contracted.
Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Babul Supriyo on Monday told the Rajya Sabha no conclusive data was available in India to link air pollution to deaths or diseases, The Indian Express reported.
Apart from environment, factors such as food habits, occupational hazards, socioeconomic status, medical history and heredity also impact an individual’s health, Supriyo said. He was replying to a question about the findings of The Lancet Countdown Report 2019, according to which more than five lakh people died in India in 2016 because of air pollution. The report said more than 97,000 of those people died because of exposure to pollutants released due to burning coal.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said the Narendra Modi government would identify and remove “each and every infiltrator” from India before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported.
The minister, who addressed an election rally in Jharkhand, reiterated that the National Register of Citizens exercise would be conducted across the country. Shah had told Parliament last month about the government’s plan, saying it was only natural that the exercise would be repeated in Assam. In its election manifesto, the Bharatiya Janata Party has promised to conduct NRC in Jharkhand to rid the state of Bangladeshi “infiltrators”.