J&K: After release, Farooq Abdullah says he won’t speak on politics until all others are freed too

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who was released after seven months of house arrest on Friday, said he will not speak about political matters till other political detenues are also freed.

Cabinet clears 4% increase in dearness allowance for central government employees, pensioners

The Union Cabinet on Friday announced a 4% increase in dearness allowance for central government employees and pensioners. The government said this increase was over the 17% of the basic pay or pension. The development will be effective from January 2020.

Coronavirus: Odisha declares outbreak a ‘disaster’, several states order schools to be shut

Several state governments on Friday announced an array of measures to curb public activities to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus after Karnataka reported India’s first death due to the infection. Samples of a 76-year-old man, who was a suspected COVID-19 patient and died on March 10, tested positive for the disease on Thursday. There are 75 confirmed cases of coronavirus in India.

India added to civic rights monitor’s watchlist for decline in space for dissent

A global monitor tracking civic space has added India to its “monitor watchlist”, The Wire reported on Friday. Civicus cited the government’s handling of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests as it continued to rank India in the “repressed” category.

Coronavirus: India brings second batch of 44 pilgrims back from Iran

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday that the second batch of 44 Indian pilgrims has been brought back from coronavirus-hit Iran aboard an Iran Air plane. The first group of 58 pilgrims had landed in India on Tuesday.

Coronavirus: Narendra Modi calls on SAARC leaders to together chalk out strategy to fight pandemic

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called on countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to set an example by chalking out a strong strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Over 4,000 people have been killed worldwide, and over 1.2 lakh infected by the virus so far. In India, 75 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and one person has died.

Coronavirus: IPL 2020 suspended till 15 April as a precautionary measure, confirms BCCI

The 13th edition of Indian Premier League, scheduled to start on 29 March, has been suspended till 15 April in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed on Friday. The board said the decision was taken as a precautionary measure.

Air India sale: Deadline to submit bids extended till April 30, government cites COVID-19 fears

The government on Friday extended the deadline for the submission of bids for stake in Air India till April 30. Interested bidders had requested an extension due to the situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management said.

MP crisis: ‘Ready for floor test,’ Kamal Nath tells governor, alleges 19 MLAs are in BJP’s captivity

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday met Governor Lalji Tandon in Bhopal and told him that the Bharatiya Janata Party had indulged in “horse-trading” of legislators and had held 19 of them captive, ANI reported. As many as 22 Congress MLAs in the state had resigned from the Assembly on Tuesday, sending the party’s government into a crisis.

Jammu and Kashmir: Farooq Abdullah to be released after over 7 months in detention

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday revoked the detention order of former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. The National Conference leader will be released after spending over seven months in detention.

Coronavirus: No IPL matches in Delhi this year, says Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

The Delhi government on Friday announced that the Capital will not host any Indian Premier League match this year amid the coronavirus outbreak. Addressing a press conference, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday said all big events, conferences and sports gatherings have been banned in the city-state till further notice. The ban is specific to events that will have gatherings of 200 people or more, reported NDTV.

Coronavirus: Google employee in Bengaluru tests positive, company tells staff to work from home

An employee of Google, who works in the Bengaluru office, has tested positive for coronavirus, the company said on Friday, PTI reported. This is the sixth case in Karnataka.

Kuldeep Sengar gets 10 years in jail for death of Unnao rape complainant’s father

A Delhi court on Friday sentenced expelled Bharatiya Janata Party politician Kuldeep Singh Sengar to 10 years in prison for the death of the father of the woman who accused him of raping her, PTI reported. He was last week convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

SP puts up poster of rape-accused BJP leaders after UP government’s ‘name & shame’ hoardings

The Samajwadi Party has put up banners of former Union minister Chinmayanand, who is accused of raping a law student, and Unnao rape convict Kuldeep Singh Sengar – both associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party at some point – in Lucknow, News18 reported on Friday. The banners are in response to the hoardings that the district administration put up, which carry the names, photographs and addresses of 53 people who protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

‘Thank god coronavirus didn’t start in India,’ says economist Jim O’Neill, lauds China’s response

British economist Jim O’Neill on Wednesday lauded China’s “fast, aggressive” response to contain the coronavirus outbreak and said he was thankful that the pandemic started in China and not India, CNBC reported. While the virus is spreading quickly globally, its progress in China, where it emerged late last year, has slowed in the past seven days.

Indian markets up 2% after crash due to coronavirus panic forces first trading halt in a decade

Indian share markets were forced to halt trading for 45 minutes for the first time since 2009 after continuing panic over spreading coronavirus pandemic triggered a 10% crash just a few minutes into Friday’s session. When trading resumed, both benchmark indices were at their most volatile in a decade – but erased all losses within hours. By 12.30 pm, they were both over 1.8% up.

MP: Land forgery case against Jyotiraditya Scindia, his family, reopened a day after he joins BJP

A land forgery case filed against Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose exit from the Congress triggered a political crisis in Madhya Pradesh, was on Thursday reopened by the Economic Offences Wing. The case, in which the former Union minister and his family are accused of falsifying a property document while selling land, was closed in 2018.

Coronavirus: India reports first COVID-19 death in Karnataka; Justin Trudeau’s wife tests positive

India reported its first coronavirus death late on Thursday after samples of a 76-year-old man, who was a suspected COVID-19 patient and passed away on March 10, tested positive for the disease. B Sriramulu, the health minister of Karnataka, said in a tweet that authorities were currently carrying out contact tracing, isolation and other measures related to the case.

Coronavirus: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tests positive, match against Brighton postponed

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the Gunners’ Premier League match at Brighton on Saturday to be postponed.

Formula 1: Australian Grand Prix called off after McLaren team member tests positive for coronavirus

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was cancelled just hours before the action was due to start on Friday over fears about the spread of coronavirus after a McLaren team member tested positive.

Tamil Nadu has not started work for NPR, Centre needs to clarify queries, says state minister

The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday said it has not started work on updating the National Population Register, and said the Centre needed to clarify queries on certain aspects of the exercise.