Andhra halts decision to build three new capitals, will set up another panel to study proposal

The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Friday deferred taking a decision on Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s proposed three-capital formula, and decided to set up a committee to examine the recommendations of an expert panel that had proposed it and the report of an international consultancy firm.

Gujarat High Court upholds death penalty for man who raped and killed three-year-old Surat girl

The Gujarat High Court on Friday upheld the death sentence for a 22-year-old man who raped and murdered a three-year-old girl in Surat in October 2018. A division bench of Justices Bela Trivedi and AC Rao rejected Anil Yadav’s plea against capital punishment that a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences court had awarded him.

Rajnath Singh pulls out of event in Chennai to honour #MeToo accused Vairamuthu

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has cancelled his scheduled visit to Chennai on Saturday to attend a special convocation at SRM Institute of Science and Technology to confer an honorary doctorate on poet and lyricist Vairamuthu.

CAA: Amit Shah dares Rahul Gandhi to show any provision in Act that takes away citizenship

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday dared Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to show any provision in the Citizenship Amendment Act that says the citizenship of an Indian will be taken away. Shah, who is also the Bharatiya Janata Party national president, was addressing a party rally in Shimla to commemorate its two years in power in the state.

BJP ally Janata Dal (United) says it cannot support NPR until Centre disavows its link with NRC

Bharatiya Janata Party ally Janata Dal (United) said on Thursday that it cannot support the National Population Register exercise till the Centre allays all apprehensions that it is the “first step towards the National Register of Citizens”. Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had last week made clear his opposition to the NRC.

Ladakh: 4G mobile internet services restored in Kargil after 145 days

The Ladakh administration on Friday restored 4G mobile internet connectivity in Kargil, after a gap of 145 days. Internet services in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were blocked on August 5, when India rescinded the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 of the Constitution, bifurcated it into two Union Territories, and imposed a lockdown.

Citizenship Act protests: March to PM’s residence halted by police, hundreds gather at Jama Masjid

Hundreds of people gathered at Jama Masjid in Old Delhi on Friday to protest against the amendments to the Citizenship Act. Congress leader Alka Lamba and former Delhi MLA Shoaib Iqbal were among those who joined the demonstrations. “Unemployment is the real issue in the county, but you [Narendra Modi] are trying to put people in a queue for NRC, as it was done during demonetisation,” Lamba said.

CAA protests: Modi and Shah have plunged India into ‘turmoil and unrest’, claims Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of plunging the country into “turmoil and unrest” with an ill-thought out Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.

Spy scandal case: Former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan to get Rs 1.3 crore additional compensation

The Kerala Cabinet on Thursday decided to give Rs 1.3 crore as additional compensation to former Indian Space Research Organisation scientist Nambi Narayanan to settle a spy scandal case in which he was falsely implicated.

After Amruta Fadnavis-Shiv Sena spat, Thane civic body plans to move accounts out of Axis Bank

Thane Mayor Naresh Mhaske on Thursday asked the Thane Municipal Corporation to shift its savings bank accounts from Axis Bank to a nationalised bank. The move came days after a war of words broke out between Shiv Sena’s Priyanka Chaturvedi and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ wife Amruta Fadnavis, who holds a senior position at Axis Bank.

Cold spell persists across North India, Delhiites face season’s worst at 4.2 degrees Celsius

The severe cold spell persisted in the northern parts of India on Friday morning. Visibility was low in most places as fog continued to envelope cities.

‘More maturity, restraint expected’: Magsaysay awardee tells Adityanath on police action in UP

Social activist and Magsaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey on Thursday wrote an open letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, criticising the “vengeance” with which the state government was acting against people protesting against the amendments to the Citizenship Act.

Mumbai: Television actor Kushal Punjabi commits suicide

Television actor Kushal Punjabi was found dead at his home in Pali Hill, Mumbai, on Thursday night. He was 37. The police have found a suicide note and have begun further investigations, ANI reported. The actor was reportedly found hanging from a ceiling fan.

Citizenship Act, NRC may affect the status of Muslims in India, says US Congress’ think tank report

The Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens exercise planned by the Narendra Modi-led government “may affect the status of India’s large Muslim minority of roughly 200 million”, a report released by the United States Congress’ think tank, Congressional Research Service said.

Norwegian woman who protested against Citizenship Act forced to leave India

The Indian government has asked a 74-year-old Norwegian woman, who had participated in protests against the amendments to the Citizenship Act on Monday, to leave the country immediately, Manorama reported on Friday.

The woman, identified as Janne-Mette Johansson, was in Kochi on a tourist visa. The Foreigners Regional Registration Office, or FRRO, had called her in for questioning on Thursday. Johansson has routinely visited India since 2014 and entered the country in October this time round. Her visa is valid till March, 2020.

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s family evaded stamp duty, alleges IT department: Report

The Income Tax Department has asked the Haryana government to further investigate the allegations of stamp duty evasion by Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s wife, The Indian Express reported on Friday. Novel Lavasa had allegedly not paid the stamp duty while transferring an apartment in Gurgaon to her sister-in-law Shakuntala Lavasa.

CAA protests: Drones, paramilitary forces deployed in Uttar Pradesh

The Uttar Pradesh government has stepped up security and shut down internet in several districts in anticipation of fresh protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act on Friday. Paramilitary force personnel, state police force and drones have been deployed, Gorakhpur District Magistrate Vijyendra Pandiyan said. They also staged a flag march in sensitive areas and held a meeting with peace committees in all circle and police station areas.

Shoaib Akhtar claims Pakistan players treated Danish Kaneria unfairly as he is Hindu, spinner seconds the charge

Shoaib Akhtar has claimed that his teammate Danish Kaneria faced discrimination from a few Pakistani cricketers, who were reluctant to even eat with him because he is a Hindu. Kaneria has supported Akhtar’s claim. Kaneria, only the second Hindu to play for Pakistan after his maternal uncle Anil Dalpat, took 261 wickets in 61 Tests at an average of 34.79. He also played 18 One-Day Internationals.

Two TDP leaders put under house arrest ahead of Cabinet meeting on Andhra Pradesh’s capital

Two Telugu Desam Party leaders were put under house arrest on Thursday, a day ahead of the Cabinet meeting of the Andhra Pradesh government to approve Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy’s proposed three-capital formula. The situation in the state has been tense ever since Jagan Mohan Reddy last week declared the creation of three capitals an executive capital at Vishakhapatnam, legislative capital at Amaravati, and judicial capital at Kurnool.

Raveena Tandon, Farah Khan, Bharti Singh booked for allegedly hurting religious sentiments on show

The Punjab Police have booked Bollywood actor Raveena Tandon, director-choreographer Farah Khan and comedian Bharti Singh for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of a community in a comedy show, PTI reported on Thursday. The three celebrities allegedly made fun of word “Hallelujah” in the show ‘Back Benchers’.

Full text: Arundhati Roy clarifies her NPR remarks even as she faces criminal complaint

Author Arundhati Roy on Friday defended her remarks on the National Population Register, which have now invited a criminal complaint against her. On Wednesday, at a protest at Delhi University, Roy had asked Indians to oppose the NPR by furnishing wrong names and addresses.

Roy said her remarks were misinterpreted. “What I was proposing was civil disobedience with a smile,” she noted in a statement.

Citizenship Act: Like UP, Karnataka may also recover cost of damages from rioters, says minister

The Karnataka government may adopt Uttar Pradesh’s policy of recovering the cost of damage to public property from alleged rioters, state Revenue Minister R Ashoka said on Thursday, according to PTI.

“...The way in which Uttar Pradesh government has decided to confiscate the properties of those indulging in violence – if such things [violence] happen again [here], it will be brought in Karnataka also,” Ashoka said.

Citizenship Act: Internet suspended in several UP districts as state prepares for Friday protests

The administration in several Uttar Pradesh districts have ordered the suspension of internet services in anticipation of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act on Friday. The shutdown will last for different lengths of time in different parts of the state.

The police have arrested 124 people for allegedly inciting violence through social media posts. “Ninety-three FIRs [first information reports] registered,” an unidentified official told ANI. Action was taken on 19,409 social media posts – of these 9,372 were tweets and 9,856 were Facebook posts. At least 181 YouTube profiles were blocked. The police registered 327 FIRs against people involved in the protests and took preventive action against 5,558.

Citizenship Act-NRC: Left announces seven-day nationwide protests from January 1

Five Left parties on Thursday announced a seven-day protest programme against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Population Register, and the National Register of Citizens from January 1. The parties will organise a general strike on January 8.

The Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and the the All India Forward Bloc released a joint statement about the protest.

Citizenship Act: After German student, Norwegian tourist questioned for attending protest

A 74-year-old Norwegian woman was called in for questioning by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, or FRRO, in the city of Kochi in Kerala for participating in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act on Monday, Onmanorama reported on Thursday. This came days after a German exchange student at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras was sent back to his country for participating in the protests.