Action against Kunal Kamra taken solely on the basis of social media posts, says IndiGo captain

An IndiGo captain on Thursday wrote to the airline asking him why comedian Kunal Kamra was banned for six months from travelling with the carrier without him being consulted. “Disheartened to learn that my airline took decision solely on basis of social media posts,” the pilot, Rohit Mateti, wrote in his statement. “Kamra’s behaviour, while unsavoury, was not qualifying of a level one unruly passenger. Pilots can attest to incidents which were similar and/or worse in nature that were not deemed unruly.”

‘Jamia firing a direct result of provocative remarks by BJP leaders’: Opposition hits out at BJP

Several politicians from across party lines on Thursday condemned the shooting near Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University in which one student was injured. The incident occurred after a man shot at protestors marching towards Rajghat – the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, whose death anniversary is being observed on Thursday. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said the incident was possible only because BJP leaders provoked people to shoot through their speeches.

Bengaluru has the world’s worst traffic, four Indian cities in top 10: Report

Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru had the worst traffic congestion in the world in 2019, and was one of four Indian cities in the top 10, according to a global traffic index covering 416 cities across 57 countries. The annual TomTom Traffic Index found that an average trip in Bengaluru took 71% more time to complete than it would if there were no traffic. This means it takes nearly 51 minutes to reach a destination that is half an hour away in free-flowing traffic.

Sabarimala case to be taken up on February 3 by nine-judge Supreme Court Bench

A nine-judge Supreme Court Bench will on February 3 hear and examine the matter related to the entry of women into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple and discrimination at other religious places, ANI reported. Chief Justice SA Bobde said the top court will begin to hear the legal questions on the matter and other religious practices.

In pictures: How a man fired from a pistol outside Jamia Millia University in Delhi

A man shot at anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors near Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University on Thursday afternoon, leaving a student injured. The man was arrested, while the injured student was taken to hospital. A video of the incident showed the gunman waving his pistol while walking backwards, with police personnel seen in the background. He shouted at the demonstrators: “Ye lo azaadi [here’s your freedom].” The man was taken into custody and is being interrogated.

Bhima Koregaon: NIA seeks to transfer case to special Mumbai court, files fresh FIR

The National Investigation Agency has submitted an application before the Pune court that has been hearing the Bhima Koregaon case to seek its transfer to a special court in Mumbai, PTI reported on Thursday. The case, which was earlier being investigated by the Pune Police, was handed over to the agency last week by the Centre, weeks after a new government came to power in Maharashtra.

EC bans minister Anurag Thakur from campaigning for three days, BJP MP Parvesh Verma for 96 hours

The Election Commission on Thursday imposed a 72-hour campaigning ban on Union minister Anurag Thakur and a 96-hour campaigning ban on Bharatiya Janata Party MP Parvesh Verma ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections. The two BJP leaders were accused of making objectionable remarks in the past week.

CAA: Student injured as armed man fires at protestors near Jamia Millia Islamia

An unidentified man, seen in a video brandishing a gun near Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, has reportedly shot a student who was taking part in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens. The man was arrested, NDTV reported.

Modi believes in Nathuram Godse’s ideology but lacks courage to say it, claims Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in the same ideology as Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, but does not have the courage to say so, ANI reported.

2012 Delhi gangrape case convict Akshay Kumar Singh’s curative plea dismissed by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a curative petition filed by 2012 Delhi gangrape convict Akshay Kumar Singh to commute his death sentence, ANI reported. Singh wanted his sentence to be reduced to life imprisonment and had filed his plea on Wednesday.

Coronavirus: Kerala student is India’s first positive case

India reported its first case of novel coronavirus infection on Thursday. The patient is a student who studies at Wuhan University, and is now in isolation in a hospital in Kerala, the government said.

2012 Delhi gangrape: Convicts file plea in local court seeking stay on their February 1 execution

The lawyer for the convicts on death row in the 2012 Delhi gangrape-murder case on Thursday filed a petition in a local court, seeking a stay on the execution of the four men on February 1. Lawyer AP Singh said in his plea that some legal remedies available to the convicts have still not been made use of. He said that according to the Delhi Prison Rules, none of the four convicts can be hanged till the last convict has exhausted all his legal options including the use of the mercy petition.

Delhi Assembly elections: ‘Vote for AAP,’ says TMC leader Derek O’Brien

The Trinamool Congress on Thursday backed the Aam Aadmi Party for the Delhi Assembly elections. In a tweet, Trinamool Congress National Spokesperson Derek O’Brien not only endorsed AAP for the upcoming Assembly elections, but supported all candidates of the party.

Goa mining ban: Supreme Court allows transportation of already extracted iron ore

The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the transportation of already extracted iron ore from mines in Goa, PTI reported. The top court had in 2018 banned mining and transportation of iron ore in Goa. On Thursday, it ordered the petitioner to transport the iron ore within a period of six months, provided it has paid royalty to the state authorities and has a valid licence.

9 lakh workers who benefited from Centre’s scheme to promote formal jobs were ineligible: Report

Around 9 lakh workers out of the 1.2 crore who benefited from a government scheme for job creation in its first three years were later found to be ineligible for it, Business Standard reported on Thursday. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has already recovered Rs 222 crore from these employers, and has blocked the provident fund accounts of the workers.

The Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana, or the “scheme for incentivising employment”, applies to employees who have joined the formal sector for the first time. The government pays the employer’s full share of the pension scheme and provident fund for such workers for three years. When the scheme was launched in August 2016, the government paid only for the pension fund, but has added the provident fund since April 2018.

Singer Adnan Sami says ‘minor politicians’ dragging him into controversy over his Padma Shri

Pakistani-origin singer Adnan Sami, who was awarded the Padma Shri on Republic Day, told PTI on Thursday that his name had been unnecessary dragged into a controversy by “minor politicians”. Sami, who was born in Lahore, arrived in India in 2001 on a tourist visa. His Pakistani passport issued on May 27, 2010, expired on May 26, 2015, and was not renewed. Subsequently, Sami applied for Indian citizenship, which was granted on January 1, 2016.

“The people who are criticising are some minor politicians,” Sami said, perhaps in reference to his Twitter spat with Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill. “They are doing it because of some political agenda that they have and it has nothing to do with me. I am not a politician, I am a musician.”

BJP leader likens Shaheen Bagh protests to ISIS module, defends ‘shooting traitors’ slogan

Bharatiya Janata Party National Secretary Tarun Chugh on Wednesday defended the idea of “shooting traitors”, and referred to the Shaheen Bagh protestors of Delhi as an “Islamic State-like module”. He referred to the locality as “Shaitaan Bagh”, or the devil’s place. This was the latest in a series of verbal attacks by BJP leaders on the women-led protest ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections next week.

Anticipatory bail need not be limited to a fixed period, rules Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ruled that anticipatory bail granted to a person “should not invariably” be limited to a fixed period and could continue till the end of the trial, PTI reported. However, the court added that the adjudicating court can limit its period in case of “special or peculiar features”.

Delhi polls: AAP asks poll body to ban Amit Shah from campaigning, demands FIR against Parvesh Verma

The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to ban Union Home Minister Amit Shah from campaigning for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections for 48 hours. In a letter to the Delhi Electoral Officer, AAP accused Shah of circulating fake videos about the condition of Delhi government schools to defraud the people of the city, NDTV reported.

The party also demanded that the Election Commission register a first information report against Bharatiya Janata Party MP Parvesh Verma for allegedly calling Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a “terrorist”, PTI reported. Verma had said at a rally in Madipur Assembly constituency that “terrorists like Kejriwal are hiding in this country”.

European Parliament postpones vote on joint motion against India’s new citizenship law till March

The European Parliament at its plenary session in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday debated a joint motion combining several resolutions criticising India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, PTI reported on Thursday. However, the Parliament postponed a vote on the motion till March. The European Parliament is the legislative arm of the European Union.

Five of the six resolutions, passed by different parties in the European Parliament, had been highly critical of India’s new citizenship law. Several of these resolutions had warned that the Citizenship Amendment Act will create a huge “statelessness crisis” in India.

CAA: Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan arrested in Mumbai for his alleged inflammatory remarks at AMU

The Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Dr Kafeel Khan, a former paediatrician at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur, on Wednesday night for allegedly making inflammatory remarks during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Aligarh Muslim University in December, the Hindustan Times reported. Dr Khan was supposed to be present at the “Mumbai Bagh” protest in Mumbai Central on Thursday. His brother Adeel Khan said he was arrested at the Mumbai airport after he had landed there from Patna.

Khan allegedly made a provocative speech during an “Open Talk” event at AMU during a protest on December 12. Psephologist Yogendra Yadav was the other speaker at the event.

Kunal Kamra flying ban: ‘Act of a coward to silence a critic,’ says Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said the flying ban imposed by four airlines on comedian Kunal Kamra was “the act of a coward”.

On Tuesday, domestic airline IndiGo banned Kamra from flying on its flights for six months after he heckled journalist Arnab Goswami on board an aircraft. Later, three other airlines – Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir – also banned Kamra from travelling on their flights “until further notice”. AirAsia India and Vistara airlines said they were reviewing the matter.

Gandhi tweeted: “The ban imposed on #kunalkamra by 4 airlines is the act of a coward leveraging his influence with the [government] to silence a critic. Those who use their ‘news’ cameras as 24x7 tools of propaganda, should show some spine when the camera is turned on them.”

Akali Dal revokes previous decision, will now support BJP in Delhi Assembly elections

Bharatiya Janata Party President JP Nadda on Wednesday said the party’s ally Shiromani Akali Dal – which had on January 20 decided not to contest the Delhi Assembly elections – would now support the saffron party, PTI reported. The Shiromani Akali Dal had cited differences over the Citizenship Amendment Act for its earlier decision.

“I am grateful to the SAD that they have decided to support the BJP in Delhi Assembly elections,” Nadda said at a joint press conference with the party’s leaders. “I thank Sukhbir Badal...The SAD is one of the oldest constituents of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. The SAD has always been at the forefront of serving the society. The strong coalition between the BJP and the SAD will remain intact.”

Sedition case: JNU student Sharjeel Imam sent to five days’ police custody by Delhi court

A court in Delhi on Wednesday sent arrested Jawaharlal Nehru University student Sharjeel Imam to five days’ police custody, PTI reported, citing his lawyer. Imam was arrested from Bihar on Tuesday after five states – Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Delhi – filed sedition cases against him for allegedly making incendiary remarks.

Muslim women can pray at mosques, may ignore fatwas prohibiting entry, personal law board tells SC

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Islamic texts do not forbid women’s entry into mosques and any fatwas associated with it may be ignored, Bar and Bench reported. In an affidavit, the board said that women also had the option to offer their Friday prayers at a mosque or at home.

“Islam has not made it obligatory on Muslim women to join congregational prayer nor is it obligatory for women to offer Friday namaz in congregation, though it is so on Muslim men,” the affidavit read, according to IANS.