Union ministers to visit J&K later this week, over 5 months after Centre scrapped its special status

A group of Union ministers will visit Jammu and Kashmir later this week to spread awareness about the alleged positive impact of the Centre’s decision to revoke the special constitutional status of the erstwhile state. This is the first visit by Union ministers since the government abrogated the region’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 and divided it into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

UP police stops Magsaysay winner Sandeep Pandey, three others from travelling to Ayodhya

Magsaysay Award-winning activist Sandeep Pandey and three others were prevented by the Uttar Pradesh police from travelling to Ayodhya from Lucknow on Wednesday, a member of the group said. Sunita Vishwanath, a member of a US organisation called Hindus for Human Rights, said that the police cited a law banning the gathering of more than four people when stopping them.

CAA protests: Lawyer Mohammad Shoaib granted bail by Lucknow court

A court in Lucknow on Wednesday granted bail to lawyer and president of Rihai Manch, Mohammad Shoaib. He was put under house arrest in Lucknow on December 19 during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The next day, he was detained at an unidentified location. Shoaib was reportedly among over 1,240 people arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with protests against the amended citizenship law in the state.

Bengaluru: BJP MLA allegedly threatens students for ‘anti-Modi’ graffiti, institute declares holiday

The Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bengaluru has declared that it will be closed on Thursday and Friday after students and security personnel of the college were allegedly threatened because of a graffiti against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar gets bail, asked to stay away from Delhi till elections are over

A Delhi court granted bail to Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Wednesday, about a month after he was arrested on charges of instigating violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Old Delhi’s Daryaganj locality.

Jammu and Kashmir: Top Hizbul Mujahideen militant killed in encounter in Doda, say police

A militant allegedly associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district. The militant has been identified as Haroon Wani.

Unnao rape case: Kuldeep Singh Sengar moves Delhi HC to challenge his conviction, life imprisonment

Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party politician Kuldeep Singh Sengar on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court to challenge his conviction and life imprisonment for raping a teenager in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. A court in Delhi had on December 20 sentenced the legislator to life imprisonment and also ordered him to pay Rs 25-lakh compensation to the complainant. Sengar was convicted of raping the woman, then a minor, in 2017.

2012 gangrape case: Delhi government recommends rejecting death-row convict’s mercy plea

The Delhi government on Wednesday recommended rejecting the mercy petition filed by Mukesh Singh, one of the death-row convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the state government had forwarded the plea to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal at “lightning speed”. It will then be sent to the Union Home Ministry.

Mumbai man who molested former Bollywood actor on flight gets 3 years in jail under POCSO Act

A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday convicted a businessman accused of molesting a former Bollywood child actor in 2017 under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The court ruled that the accused, Vikas Sachdeva, would serve three years in jail.

Hymn ‘Abide With Me’, Gandhi’s favourite, dropped from Beating Retreat tunes: Report

The Ministry of Defence has dropped popular English hymn “Abide With Me, said to be a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi, from the list of tunes for the Beating the Retreat ceremony on January 29 this year, The Hindu reported on Wednesday. The hymn was played to mark the end of Republic Day celebrations every year since 1950 at Vijay Chowk in the national Capital.

India could play a part in de-escalation of tension in Gulf region, says Iran Foreign Minister Zarif

India could play a part in the de-escalation of tension in the Gulf region, said Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday. The remarks came amid heightened tension between Tehran and the United States following the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani on January 3.

1984 anti-Sikh violence: Centre accepts SIT report, tells Supreme Court it will act on it

The Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it has accepted the recommendations of a special investigation team, headed by retired Delhi High Court judge Justice SN Dhingra, which looked into 186 cases related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Centre said it will take appropriate action in these cases as per the law.

‘Free Kashmir’ placard: Mysuru lawyers’ body refuses to appear for protestor charged with sedition

The Mysore Bar Association on Tuesday said its lawyers would not appear for a woman who was booked for holding a “Free Kashmir” placard at a protest in Mysuru last week, News18 reported on Wednesday. The police had booked Nalini Balakumar for sedition days after she was seen holding the placard on January 8 during a protest against the mob attack on the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

2012 Delhi gangrape: Tihar authorities say can’t hang convicts until mercy plea is decided

The Delhi government and Tihar jail authorities on Wednesday said they will need to wait before executing the death row convicts in the 2012 gangrape case until a decision on the mercy plea filed by one of the four men before the president, PTI reported. The execution of the four convicts is scheduled for 7 am on January 22.

After Kerala’s move on CAA, Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh challenges NIA Act in Supreme Court

The Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking to declare the National Investigation Agency Act unconstitutional as it was “against the federal spirit” of the Constitution.

Adityanath says Muslim population in India increased since 1947 because of special rights

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath said on Tuesday that the Muslim population in India has increased since Partition because the country gave special rights to the community, unlike in Pakistan. He claimed that the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act were a conspiracy by a “crooked” Opposition.

‘This is going to be India’s century,’ says Jeff Bezos, announces Amazon’s investment plans

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos on Wednesday predicted that the 21st century was going to be “the Indian century”. Bezos, who arrived in India on Tuesday to meet senior government officials and business leaders, said the e-commerce giant would invest $1 billion (over Rs 7,000 crore) to digitise small and medium businesses in India.

Army chief says revoking J&K’s special status was historic, disrupted Pakistan’s plans

Army chief General MM Naravane on Wednesday said the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution was a “historic step” and would connect the region to the rest of the country. Naravane was speaking at an Army Day function in New Delhi.

There’s an atmosphere of fear and tension in country, both BJP and Congress misuse power: Mayawati

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Wednesday heaped criticism on both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, accusing them of indulging in dirty politics on the occasion of her 64th birthday.

JNU violence: Police name masked woman in video, ABVP admits she is a member

The Delhi have identified a masked woman seen in a video on the January 5 violence at Jawaharlal Nehru University as Delhi University student Komal Sharma. In the video, the person believed to be Sharma, is seen wearing a check shirt and a light blue scarf, and carrying a stick. She allegedly threatened students in Sabarmati hostel along with two men.

India intends to be a stabilising force, not a disruptive power in the world: S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday that India intends to be a stabilising force, and not a disruptive power internationally. He made the remark at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 in New Delhi. “There are already enough forces of disruption in the world,” Jaishankar said. “Somebody needs to make up a bit.”

UP: Army man’s son accidentally shoots himself dead while making TikTok video

A Class 12 student, who was trying to make a TikTok video using his father’s licensed revolver, accidentally shot himself when it went off, in Hafiz Ganj area of Bareilly district in Uttar Pradesh on Monday, The Times of India reported on Wednesday.

PM Modi vs IMA: Either prove doctors are bribed by pharma companies or apologise, says medical body

The Indian Medical Association on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to either prove or apologise for his alleged statement that top pharmaceutical companies bribe doctors with women, gadgets or foreign trips.

West Bengal governor, at science fair, claims Arjuna’s arrows had nuclear power

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday claimed at a science fair in Kolkata that mythological character Arjuna’s arrows had nuclear power and chariots mentioned in the Mahabharata epic actually flew, the Hindustan Times reported.

Mumbai: Anti CAA-NRC protest held during India-Australia cricket match

A group of students held protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai during Tuesday’s the one-day international cricket match between India and Australia men’s teams, PTI reported. The group wore white T-shirts with “No CAA”, “No NRC” and “No NPR” written on them, with an alphabet on each shirt.

J&K: Broadband internet partially restored, but ban on social media remains

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday night restored broadband services in institutions dealing with “essential services”, such as hospitals, banks, government offices, hotels, and tour and travel establishments, Hindustan Times reported. In an official press release, the administration asked internet service providers to install firewalls and carry out “white listing” of websites before providing these services. However, social media websites continue to be banned.

AMU to file complaint against police violence, says no permission was given to enter hostel

The Aligarh Muslim University on Tuesday said it will file a complaint against the crackdown by the Uttar Pradesh Police on students protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act on December 15, NDTV reported. The police had entered the campus to quell protests against violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University earlier that evening.

‘Back-breaking inflation, unemployment has created financial emergency,’ says Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday lashed out at the Narendra Modi-led government over the rising prices of essential commodities as well as unemployment, saying this has created a state of “financial emergency”. “Back-breaking inflation, life-threatening unemployment and falling GDP has created a state of financial emergency,” Gandhi tweeted.