The Hindu Morning Digest, April 2, 2024

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice DY Chandrachud addresses during the 20th D.P. Kohli Memorial Lecture on Adopting Technology to Advance Criminal Justice, in New Delhi on April 1, 2024
| Photo Credit: ANI

Interplay between law and technology can ensure criminal justice reform: CJI

Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud on April 1 said that in the era of digital transformation, the interplay between law and technology can result in better crime detection and also ensure criminal justice reform.

Sounding a cautionary note, he said: “From issues of jurisdiction and privacy to questions of accountability and transparency, the integration of technology into our criminal justice system requires careful consideration of the ethical, legal, and societal implications at play.”

Lok Sabha elections | Katchatheevu issue unlikely to have electoral impact in Tamil Nadu

On March 31, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked up a controversy over Katchatheevu, a few weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha election in Tamil Nadu. Citing a report in a daily and posting it on “X” (formerly Twitter), he said: “Eye-opening and startling! New facts reveal how Congress callously gave away Katchatheevu…”

Yet, the utility of Katchatheevu as an electoral issue is doubtful, if one goes by the results of Lok Sabha elections in the Ramanathapuram constituency since 1977.

Arunachal Pradesh was, is, and will always be a part of India: Jaishankar

Arunachal Pradesh was, is and will always be a part of India, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on April 1 in response to China renaming yet another 30 places in the State, which it claims as ‘south Tibet’. The development follows closely after the recent visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the State for the inauguration of the Sela tunnel, built at an altitude of 13,000 ft.

New rule brings relief for passengers stuck in planes for delay in take-off

Long delays due to reasons such as poor weather have on occasions forced airlines to confine passengers for up to 12 hours within an aircraft waiting on ground for its turn for a take-off. But this is set to change soon.

After reprieve on I-T notice, Congress says issue larger than tax demand

The Congress on April 1 welcomed the reprieve it got from the Income Tax (I-T) department on the tax demand of ₹3,500 crore, but said the entire episode raises issues that are larger than a tax demand.

Taking to X, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram asked if demands can be raised on a political party when all political parties are exempt from income tax. “I welcome the Solicitor General’s statement in Court that no coercive steps will be taken to enforce the Income Tax demands on the Congress party. There are issues larger than a demand for income tax,” Mr Chidambaram said.

Guards among 8 reported killed in Israeli strike on Iran consular annex in Syria

Israeli air strikes destroyed the Iranian embassy’s consular annex in Syria on April 1, killing and wounding everyone inside, Damascus said as Iranian state TV reported a Revolutionary Guards commander among the dead.

Britain-based war monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said eight people, including several Guards members, were killed when “Israeli missiles… destroyed the building of an annex to the Iranian embassy”.

In Rajasthan, an RSS group issues CAA eligibility certificates to Hindus from Pakistan

For the past one week, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated group has been organising camps and issuing “eligibility certificates” to members of the Hindu community from Pakistan to help them apply for citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA).

India’s defence exports crossed all-time high of ₹21,000 crore: Rajnath

India’s defence exports crossed ₹21,000 crore, approximately $2.63 billion, for the first time, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced on April 1. The recent figures indicated that the defence exports have grown by 31 times in the past 10 years as compared to FY 2013-14, the Ministry said.

ECI censures Dilip Ghosh and Supriya Shrinate for making derogatory remarks against women

Censuring Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dilip Ghosh and Congress’ Supriya Shrinate, the Election Commission of India on April 1 said it was convinced that the two leaders made “low-level personal attacks” against women and thus violated the provisions of Model Code of Conduct.

New toll rates on highways to be effective only after Lok Sabha election

The Election Commission (EC) has asked State-owned NHAI to go ahead with the calculation of new toll rates on highways, which kicks in annually from April 1 across most of the tolled highway stretches in the country, but said the new user fees should be applicable only after the Lok Sabha elections.

NC fields candidate from Mufti’s bastion Anantnag, ends prospects of alliance with PDP

The National Conference (NC) on April 1 nominated senior leader Mian Altaf as its candidate for the Anantnag-Rajouri Lok Sabha seat, putting an end to the Congress’ efforts to stitch together a pre-poll alliance between INDIA bloc members, including the NC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the Kashmir valley.

Rise in demand for MGNREGS a ‘living monument’ of govt. failure, says Jairam Ramesh

Reacting to the latest statistics of the flagship rural employment guarantee scheme showing that demand for work is more than the pre-pandemic level and on a steady rise, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said it is a “living monument” to the Narendra Modi government’s many failures.

Netanyahu vows to shut down ‘terror channel’ Al Jazeera from broadcasting in Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will shut down satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera immediately. Mr. Netanyahu vowed to close the “terror channel” after parliament passed a law Monday clearing the way for the country to halt Al Jazeera from broadcasting from Israel.

IPL-17: MI vs RR | Boult bullies and Chahal bamboozles as Rajasthan crushes Mumbai

Rohit Sharma, the India captain, was cheered. Hardik Pandya was jeered, and cheered as well. Neither Rohit, who continued to be worshipped despite being replaced as Mumbai Indians skipper, nor Hardik, his successor, could withstand the Rajasthan Royals onslaught.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 31, 2024

Members of All Assam Student Union (AASU) Sonitpur Unit participate in a Mashal Rally as a protest march after the Central Government notified the rules for implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, at Tezpur in Sonitpur.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Citizenship (Amendment) Act Rules silent on fate of rejected applicants

As applications start coming in through the online citizenship portal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), some potential applicants are worried about their fate if rejected. The law’s Rules, notified earlier this month, are silent regarding any review process for applications rejected by the empowered committees which have the final authority to accord citizenship under the Act.

Lok Sabha elections | BJP names 11 more candidates; Mahtab from Cuttack, ex-ambassador Sandhu from Amritsar

The BJP on March 30 named its candidates for 11 more Lok Sabha constituencies, fielding a number of leaders who joined it from different parties recently such as Bhartruhari Mahtab, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Sushil Kumar Rinku and Preneet Kaur.

All these leaders have been fielded from the seats they represent in the outgoing Lok Sabha, while former Indian ambassador to the U.S. Taranjit Singh Sandhu will be making his poll debut from Amritsar.

Congress targets Modi govt., BJP over CBI closure report in Air India corruption case during Praful Patel’s tenure

Targeting the Narendra Modi-led government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) closure report in a 2017 corruption case involving Air India during former Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel’s tenure, the Congress on Saturday held a press conference with a washing machine and a detergent powder to underscore how “stains” against politicians are “washed away” the moment they join the BJP or become a part of its alliance.

ED must probe ‘direct nexus’ between BJP and South lobby, says AAP

Claiming that it had found “another link” between the witnesses in the alleged Delhi excise scam and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday demanded that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) — if it claimed to be an “independent body” — investigate the links between the “South lobby” and the saffron party.

Many countries yet to fully implement steps to prevent misuse of virtual assets, says FATF

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, has found that many countries are yet to fully implement its requirements aimed at preventing misuse of virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

Left wants to iron out differences on candidates with Congress, Indian Secular Front in West Bengal

Left Front chairperson Biman Basu on March 30 joined senior Congress leader and Kolkata Uttar Lok Sabha candidate Pradip Bhattacharya as the Congress nominee began his election campaign from Gandhi Bhawan in the city’s Beleghata area. Mr. Basu said the Left Front and Congress are united as a third alternative against the Trinamool Congress and the BJP.

Rajnath Singh to head BJP’s manifesto committee; Nirmala Sitharaman to be convener

BJP president J.P. Nadda on March 30 notified the setting up of the party’s manifesto committee for the Lok Sabha election. The committee is to be headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. 

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be the committee’s convener, and another Union Minister, Piyush Goyal, its co-convener. The Chief Ministers of four States — Bhupendra Patel of Gujarat, Himanta Biswa Sarma of Assam, Mohan Yadav of Madhya Pradesh, and Vishnu Deo Sai of Chattisgarh are also members of this 27-member committee.

It’s Pawar vs Pawar in Baramati: Ajit Pawar’s wife Sunetra fielded against Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule

The ruling Ajit Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party on Saturday officially announced the name of Mr. Pawar’s wife, Sunetra Pawar, as the Mahayuti’s candidate for the high-stakes Baramati Lok Sabha seat in Pune district.

Ms. Sunetra will be pitted against Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule, the incumbent Baramati MP, whose candidature was also announced on March 30 in the first list of five Lok Sabha candidates put out by the Opposition NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) faction.

Congress seeks to downplay Pappu Yadav’s Purnea claim

“We are not bothered who is saying what as we are focused on doing our best in the nine seats that has been allotted to us,” said a senior Congress leader, trying to downplay the threat of five-term MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav standing as rebel candidate from Purnea seat.

“Look at Nikhil babu [former IPS officer Nikhil Kumar]. He can’t contest from the Aurangabad but he hasn’t made any public statement. We won’t be encouraging any friendly fight at Purnea,”the leader added.

250 rescued from cyber fraud centres abroad: Ministry of External Affairs

The Union government is “collaborating closely” with Cambodian authorities and has rescued about 250 Indians from Cambodia, who had been lured there by cyber fraud and fake online recruitment scams, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Saturday. About 75 of them have returned to India over the past three months.

Nine pirates being brought to India to face legal action: Indian Navy

A day after rescuing a hijacked Iranian fishing vessel and its 23-member Pakistani crew under an anti-piracy operation at sea, the Indian Navy on March 30 said the nine surrendered pirates are being brought to India for further legal action.

Anticipatory bail must not be norm in many cases, rules Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has in a judgment said that bail may be the rule in many cases, but anticipatory bail is certainly not the norm

.A Bench of Justices C.T. Ravikumar and Sanjay Kumar said the power of the courts to grant anticipatory or pre-arrest bail is an extraordinary one, and not to be given for the asking.

IPL-17: LSG vs PBKS | Mayank Yadav breathes fire as LSG subdues PBKS

Say hello to Mayank Yadav. He is that rare Indian cricketer: the genuine fast bowler. And he announced his arrival in stunning fashion.

Not merely the 21-year-old bowled the fastest ball of the season, he also took the first three wickets of Punjab Kings to help Lucknow Super Giants register a 21–run win — its first in the 17th edition of the IPL — at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Stadium on Saturday night.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 30, 2024

Indian Navy ships free hijacked Iranian fishing vessel off Somalia, rescue 23 Pakistani nationals

Indian Naval Ships Sumedha and Trishul intercepted and freed hijacked Iranian Fishing Vessel Al-Kambar off Somalia after forcing the pirates to surrender over the course of 12 hours and safely rescued the crew consisting of 23 Pakistani nationals. “After more than 12 hours of intense coercive tactical measures as per the Standard Operating Procedures, the pirates on board hijacked FV were forced to surrender. The crew, comprising 23 Pakistani nationals, have been safely rescued,” a Navy spokesperson said in an update on March 29 midnight. “Indian Naval specialist teams are presently undertaking thorough sanitisation and seaworthiness checks of the FV in order to escort her to a safe area for resuming normal fishing activities.”

Netanyahu approves new Gaza ceasefire talks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved new talks on a Gaza ceasefire, a day after the world’s top court ordered Israel to ensure urgent humanitarian aid reaches people in the Palestinian territory .But despite a binding United Nations Security Council resolution this week demanding an “immediate ceasefire”, fighting continued Friday, including around hospitals.

National parties often ignore regional aspirations, says AIADMK general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami

Criticising national parties for “ignoring” regional aspirations “many times”, AIADMK general secretary and Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Friday said that regional parties, such as his own, were better equipped to represent the people and expedite development initiatives in the States. In an interview to The Hindu at his official residence, Sevanthi, on Greenways Salai in Chennai, Mr. Palaniswami, who took time off his busy Lok Sabha election campaign schedule, said that “In a country such as ours with much diversity”, regional parties fulfilled the regional aspirations.

AAP pulls out all stops for mega Oppn. rally in Delhi

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is pulling out all the stops to ensure a large turnout at the Opposition’s ‘maha rally’ at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. Several senior leaders of the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc are likely to attend the event to express solidarity with Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who is in ED custody on corruption charges.

IPL-17: RCB vs KKR | Venkatesh Iyer’s 50, Narine’s cameo carry KKR to seven-wicket win over RCB

A ruthless fifty by Venkatesh Iyer worked as the catalyst for Kolkata Knight Riders’ smooth seven-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in their IPL match here on Friday. Venkatesh’s 50 of 30 balls (3×4, 4×6) and stunning blitzes by openers Sunil Narine (47, 22b, 2×4, 5×6) and Phil Salt (30, 20b, 2×4, 2×6) propelled the Knight Riders past the 183-run target that the RCB set for them, which was built around Virat Kohli’s skilful unbeaten 83. The KKR batters never got bogged down either by a slow pitch or RCB bowlers as they hunted down the target in just 16.5 overs.

Pappu Yadav hints at rebellion; Congress deeply unhappy with seat sharing in Bihar

With a formal stamp on the seat division in Bihar and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) keeping Purnia for itself, the Congress is left with a Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav-size headache and also has to contend with enraged State leaders who find the principal opposition party settling for too little. The Congress has got nine out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the State and in majority of these seats, the party leadership claims, it has nominal presence, with a caste arithmetic leaning in favour of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case: NIA announces ₹10 lakh reward on each of the two absconding prime accused

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has released the photographs and details of the two absconding prime accused in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case — Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, 30, and Mussavir Hussain Shazib, 30 — and announced a reward of ₹10 lakh on each of them. The NIA had on Thursday identified Mussavir Hussain as the alleged bomber at the restaurant and Abdul Matheen Taaha as the key conspirator behind the attack. NIA has said the informant’s identities will be kept confidential.

Yusuf Pathan removes photograph of World Cup-winning squad after Congress complains to EC

Former cricketer and Trinamool Congress candidate from Baharampur Yusuf Pathan on Friday began removing photographs of the Cricket World Cup-winning moment used by his supporters as campaign material in the Lok Sabha seat. The development comes after West Bengal Congress lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India (EC) accusing the former cricketer of violating the model code of conduct (MCC) by using posters of India’s World Cup-winning moments in 2011.

Stalin questions the ‘mysterious’ PMK-BJP tie-up

Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday questioned the “mystery” behind the alliance between the PMK and the BJP, when the former speaks of social justice and the latter “tolls the death knell for social justice”. At an election meeting to canvass for the INDIA bloc’s Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri candidates R. Mani (DMK) and K. Gopinath (Congress) respectively, Mr. Stalin asked whether “the venerable Dr. Ramadoss (PMK founder), who champions the call for caste census, secured a guarantee from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the same? Did he ask Mr. Modi why did he not initiate the census during his term now,” Mr. Stalin asked.

Uncontrolled celebratory firing is recipe for disaster: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, in a judgment, has highlighted the often disastrous consequences of “uncontrolled and unwarranted” celebratory firing at weddings, including the maiming or loss of innocent lives. This is the second time in as many years the court has raised its voice against the culture of gun-toting bravado. In February 2023, the court had condemned the easy availability and possession of guns, mostly country-made or unlicensed, in States like Uttar Pradesh as a feudal practice that cocks a snook at a very basic fundamental right — the right to life — guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

After veto, Russia says big powers need to stop ‘strangling’ North Korea

Russia said on March 29 that major powers needed a new approach to North Korea, accusing the United States and its allies of ratcheting up military tensions in Asia and seeking to “strangle” the reclusive state. Russia vetoed the annual renewal of a panel of experts monitoring enforcement of longstanding United Nations sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar takes a swipe at Opposition for rallying behind Kejriwal

In an apparent swipe at the Opposition for rallying behind the beleaguered Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Friday pointed out how one breaking the law was playing the victim card. Mr. Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in a money laundering case linked to Delhi’s scrapped excise policy.  Without naming the U.S. and Germany, who have reacted strongly to Mr. Kejriwal’s arrest, Mr. Dhankhar said “India does not need lessons from any country on rule of law.”

Moscow concert hall attack: Nine detained in Tajikistan, Russian state media reports

Nine persons have been detained by Tajikistan’s state security service over suspected contact with the perpetrators of last week’s attack by gunmen on a suburban Moscow concert hall that killed 144 people, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said on March 29. “Nine residents of the Vakhdat district were detained for contact with the persons who committed the terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall on March 22,” the agency reported, citing information from an unnamed source in Tajikistan’s special services, who said that Russian security forces were also involved in the operation to detain the suspects.

Wives on the driving seat, Bihar’s bahubalis keep poll clout intact

Having weathered allegations, criminal cases and even long prison stints, Bihar’s bahubalis (strongmen) are back in action in Bihar’s politics. Like previous elections, their wives are in the fray, but voters clearly understand who’s calling the shots. Lovely Anand, wife of strongman Anand Mohan Singh; Bima Bharti, wife of Awadhesh Mandal; and Anita Mahto, wife of Ashok Mahto, are better known as Mrs. Bahubalis. Their husbands hold sway in their respective constituencies and beyond but cannot contest the poll directly owing to rules that prohibit convicts jailed for over two years from contesting elections “until six years after release”. This is not too different from mukhiapatis (village head’s husband) in Bihar reigning supreme at village panchayats with their elected wives (mukhias) watching from the sidelines.

‘Writers, journalists, social activists being jailed for merely criticising Indian government’

Expressing concern over the “prolonged incarceration” of a large number of writers, journalists, and social activists for criticising the Indian government, a group of eminent personalities have sought to draw the world’s attention on how India’s “democratic tradition is being fundamentally undermined.”

Lok Sabha polls: Trinamool alleges BJP leaders using NIA to target its party leaders

Trinamool Congress on Friday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls are conspiring with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to have certain leaders of the State’s ruling party arrested ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that two BJP candidates have held a meeting with the NIA officer in Kolkata regarding summon and arrest of Trinamool Congress leaders in the State’s Purba Medinipur district. Referring to an NIA official, Mr. Ghosh asked whether two BJP leaders met the official and “handed over a list of @AITCofficial leaders and workers for immediate summon and arrest, or not”.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 28, 2024

Arvind Kejriwal arrest | After India summons envoy, U.S. stresses it encourages fair, transparent legal proceedings

After India summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to lodge a protest over remarks on the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Washington on Wednesday stressed that it encourages fair, transparent, timely legal processes and “we don’t think anyone should object to that”. “We continue to follow these actions closely, including the arrest of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

Two killed after anti-CAA meeting in Meghalaya

Two persons were killed in Meghalaya’s East Khasi Hills district on Wednesday following a meeting organised by a local organisation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) of 2019. Police said the bodies of the two persons — both non-tribals — were found at Ichamati and Dalda under the Shella Assembly constituency. Both places are close to the State’s border with Bangladesh. The district’s Superintendent of Police, Rituraj Ravi, told journalists that the post-mortem was yet to be done. “Additional police teams from Shillong have been sent to the site,” he said.

IPL-17 : MI vs SRH | Records go for a six as SRH outshines MI in run fest

Travis Head played a gem of an innings, Abhishek Sharma was stunning and Heinrich Klaasen flamboyant as the trio fashioned Sunrisers Hyderabad’s impressive 31-run win against Mumbai Indians in a high-scoring IPL league match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday night.

Priest can give CAA eligibility certificate, says government helpline

A local priest may issue an “eligibility certificate” under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 to validate the religion of an applicant, according to a response received by The Hindu through the Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ CAA helpline. The certificate, a mandatory document, is to be enclosed along with an affidavit and other documents that the applicants are to upload on the CAA portal. “The reasons for which applicant wishes to acquire Indian citizenship” must also be stated.

Congress announces 14 more candidates for Lok Sabha polls

The Congress on Wednesday brought out a fresh list of 14 candidates from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections. Some of these were cleared by the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the party earlier in the evening. Sources said the CEC had discussed around 18 names and most had been cleared. In Uttar Pradesh, the party named Dolly Sharma from Ghaziabad, Virendra Chowdhury from Maharajganj, Nakul Dubey from Sitapur and Shivram Valmiki from Bulandshahr.

₹50 lakh stolen from van carrying cash to ATM in Kerala

In a brazen daylight theft, ₹50 lakh was stolen from a van that was taking the money to fill cash vending machines, at Uppala in Kasaragod in Kerala on Wednesday .The incident occurred outside an ATM of the Axis Bank around 2 p.m. The van involved in the incident belongs to a private agency, Secure Valley. Notably, it arrived at the location without security personnel. The police apprehended the driver and seized the van.

Nirmala Sitharaman decides against contesting Lok Sabha polls

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has decided against contesting the Lok Sabha election, she said on Wednesday, citing the lack of “money to contest” the poll and her inability to meet the “winnability criteria” in southern States such as Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu that she could have considered battling from. The Minister, in her second term in the Rajya Sabha, had been sounded out by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s top brass to consider a Lok Sabha candidature in the upcoming election, along with some of her Upper House cabinet colleagues such as Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Environment and Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav.

Government notifies revised wages under the MGNREGS

The Union government on Wednesday notified the revised wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), with several States reporting a hike in wages by 8 to 10%. The hike ranged from ₹7 in Uttar Pradesh (2023- ₹230 – to 2024 rate of ₹237) to ₹34 hike in Goa (2023 wages ₹322 to 2024 wages ₹356). Significant jump in wages have been reported by Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Goa, where the hikes varied from 8% to 10.5%. Bihar follows closely behind, where the wages have been revised by ₹17. 

Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt convicted in false drug seizure case

A court in Gujarat on Wednesday convicted former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a drugs seizure case dating back to 1996. The court is expected to pronounce the quantum of punishment on Thursday. The sessions court in Palanpur held Bhatt guilty of falsely implicating a Rajasthan-based lawyer, Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, by claiming that police had seized drugs from a hotel room in Palanpur where the lawyer was staying. The case was lodged when Bhatt was the district Superintendent of Police.

‘Close your eyes, feel my presence’: Arvind Kejriwal’s wife reads out his message to people

Sunita Kejriwal, the wife of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, posted a video message on the CM’s X account on Wednesday, where she relayed a message from her husband: “While my body is in jail, my spirit is with the people of Delhi.” “Close your eyes, and you will feel my presence around you,” Ms. Kejriwal said, relaying her husband’s message with her eyes closed and hands folded. While remanding Mr. Kejriwal in Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody, a court in New Delhi had allowed him to meet his wife and lawyers between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily.

Solution cannot be found on battlefield, says Jaishankar on Russia-Ukraine conflict

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on March 27 said India’s position in the Russia-Ukraine conflict has been that a solution cannot be found on the battlefield and New Delhi wants to find a way of bringing this conflict to an end. Responding to a question on India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict during his interaction with the Indian diaspora in the Malaysian capital, Mr. Jaishankar said that there are “no winners of a conflict”. “We took the position from the start, that you’re not going to get a solution to this conflict on the battlefield,” he said.

In its seventh list, BJP announces Navneet Rana’s candidature for the contentious Amravati Lok Sabha seat

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday announced the candidature of Navneet Rana for the reserved Amravati Lok Sabha seat in its seventh list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. Ms. Rana, an independent MP and the incumbent legislator of the Amravati Lok Sabha seat, is a supporter of the BJP along with her husband Ravi Rana, who is the current MLA from Badnera (in Amravati). The announcement now paves the way for Ms. Rana to formally join the BJP and contest on the Scheduled Caste (SC) reserved seat.

Rameshwaram Cafe blast: NIA conducts simultaneous raids in Shivamogga and Tamil Nadu

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing Bengaluru’s The Rameshwaram Cafe blast case, conducted simultaneous raids and questioned several suspects in Shivamogga, Karnataka, Chennai, and Ramanathapuram districts in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday (March 27). NIA sleuths on Wednesday raided the residences of Mussavir Hussain Shazib and Abdul Matheen Taha in Thirthahalli. The duo are accused in the 2020 Al Hind IS module case registered in Suddaguntepalya and have been absconding since. They are also said to be the kingpins of the Thirthahalli module and accused in the Mangaluru cooker blast of November 2022. Given the similarity in the timer and detonator devices in the IEDs used in The Rameshwaram Cafe blast and the cooker blast, agencies have suspected the role of the same module. 

Woman stripped, paraded and beaten up in M.P. village; four women held

Four women were arrested for allegedly beating up, stripping and parading a 30-year-old woman over a dispute at a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district, police said on Wednesday. A video of the purported incident that occurred during the Holi celebrations also surfaced on social media. “On Monday, four women forcibly pulled the victim out of her house, beat her up and humiliated her by stripping her naked in public at Bachhora village of Gautampura police station area,” Superintendent of Police (Rural) Sunil Mehta said.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 27, 2024

Employment scenario in India grim, says ILO report

India’s youth account for almost 83% of the unemployed workforce and the share of youngsters with secondary or higher education in the total unemployed youth has almost doubled from 35.2% in 2000 to 65.7% in 2022, as per the India Employment Report 2024 released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD) here on Tuesday. The youth employment and underemployment increased between 2000 and 2019 but declined during the pandemic years, the study, released by Chief Economic Adviser V. Anantha Nageswaran, said, adding that educated youths have experienced much higher levels of unemployment in the country during the period.

Photojournalists covering AAP protest face police’s wrath

Photojournalists covering the Aam Aadmi Party protests were harassed by the Delhi Police on Tuesday. The matter escalated between members of the press and police forces as photojournalists were attempting to click pictures of AAP leaders protesting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest. Salman Ali, a photojournalist with the Hindustan Times, was injured during the exchange, fracturing his elbow. Mr. Ali told The Hindu that there was heavy police force, and they were misbehaving with members of the media, going to the extent of grabbing a fellow photojournalist’s collar. 

IPL-17: CSK vs GT | Super Kings put on a regal display to subdue Titans with consummate ease

Like most Indian venues, Chepauk is used to the chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’ while cheering the nation’s most celebrated cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, in his playing days .Figuring in only his second IPL match, Rachin Ravindra found a way into the hearts of the city’s passionate fans, who quickly belted out ‘Rachin, Rachin’ as the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener produced another impressive cameo that laid the foundation for the defending champion’s thumping 63-run win over Gujarat Titans at the MAC Stadium on Tuesday.

In its seventh list, Congress announces four candidates for Chhattisgarh

The Congress on Tuesday announced its seventh list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls. The list has five names — four, including two women candidates, from Chhattisgarh, and one from Tamil Nadu.  With these four — Shashi Singh from Surguja, Dr. Menka Devi Singh from Raigarh, Biresh Thakur from Kanker [all three seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST)] and Devendra Singh Yadav from Bilaspur — the party has now announced all the names from Chhattisgarh that has 11 parliamentary constituencies.

Crew of cargo ship that lost power and collided with bridge in Baltimore, U.S. are all Indian

The entire 22-member crew of the cargo ship that struck a major bridge in Baltimore early on March 26, causing it to snap and plunge into the river below are Indians, the company said. The Singapore-flagged container ship “Dali” collided with one of the pillars of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore at approximately 1:30 am local time. According to the vessel information provided by the Synergy Marine Group, the crew was “All Indian, 22 in total”.

Ladakh activist Wangchuk ends 21-day fast, urges PM Modi, Amit Shah to deliver on promises

Climate activist Sonam Wangchuk on March 26 (Tuesday) ended his 21-day fast in Leh, as he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to “prove themselves as statesmen” .“It was for 21days. From tomorrow, women’s groups will start their fast and will be followed by youth, then monks and so on,” Mr. Wangchuk told The Hindu. Mr. Wangchuk has visibly grown frail and his voice has also strained. The Ladakhi activist has matched the longest fast held by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom movement.

Big tech told to identify AI deepfakes ahead of EU vote

The EU called on Facebook, TikTok and other tech titans on March 26 to crack down on deepfakes and other AI-generated content by using clear labels ahead of Europe-wide polls in June .The recommendation is part of a raft of guidelines published under a landmark content law by the European Commission for digital giants to tackle risks to elections including disinformation. The EU executive body has unleashed a string of measures to clamp down on big tech, especially regarding content moderation.

RJD, Congress hold talks to iron out differences over seats

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav and Congress leaders held talks on Tuesday to sort out the differences that have emerged between the two allies over the seat-sharing arrangements in Bihar. The much-awaited meeting took place at senior Congress leader Mukul Wasnik’s official residence here after a week of tussle. Mr. Wasnik is the convener of his party’s alliance committee. Bihar Congress chief Akhilesh Prasad Singh and AICC in-charge Mohan Prakash were also present. Another meeting could take place on Wednesday before a final agreement is announced in Patna.

ED attaches ₹124.57-crore assets in Religare Finvest Limited case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has provisionally attached immovable properties worth ₹124.57 crore belonging to RS Infrastructure, Kenwood Mercantile, Goodfaith Builders and other suspects in a case related to Religare Finvest Limited and others. The agency, in a statement, said Kenwood Mercantile and Goodfaith Builders were entities belonging to the M3M group, a Gurugram-based realtor. “Land measuring 430 acres in Gurugram/Faridabad belonging to the entities of M3M group has been provisionally attached (it) being the proceeds of crime (PoC) flowing through a maze of companies to the M3M group,” it said.

In Gujarat, BJP drops nearly 50% of sitting MPs

In Gujarat, the BJP has dropped more than a dozen sitting MPs, including Ministers Darshna Jordosh and Mahendra Munjapara, for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Two Cabinet Ministers, Mansukh Mandaviya and Parshottam Rupala, whose Rajya Sabha terms end in April, find a place on the candidate list instead .The ruling party has fielded Mr. Mandaviya from the Porbandar seat in the place of Ramesh Dhaduk and Mr. Rupala from Rajkot in the place of Mohan Kundariya. With Mr. Mandaviya hailing from Bhavnagar and Mr. Rupala from Amteli, both candidates were considered outsiders.

Home-cooked food, bed: facilities CM Kejriwal is allowed in ED lock-up

Inside the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) lock-up, where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is currently lodged after being arrested in an excise policy-linked money laundering charge, an accused gets access to basic facilities like bed and bottled drinking water. It is learnt that the toilet and bathroom are located a little away from the lock-up, which is guarded round the clock by security personnel. The premises are also monitored through closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs).

Supreme Court raises concern over the rich gagging media

The Supreme Court has highlighted the problem of the affluent getting pre-trial injunctions from courts against the media and civil society, gagging free speech and the public’s right to information about important affairs .A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said such ex-parte interim injunctions granted by courts rather mechanically spell a death sentence to journalistic stories even before the allegations against them are proven right, if ever.

FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Afghanistan shocks India in Sunil Chhetri’s 150th international match

Lower-ranked Afghanistan shocked India 2-1 as the home team suffered one of its most embarrassing defeats in recent years despite talisman Sunil Chhetri’s 94th international goal in his 150th match, in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Guwahati on March 26. In his landmark game, Chhetri did what was expected of him and found the back of the net from the spot in the 37th minute after Haroon Amiri handled the ball inside the box in India’s home leg match in the second round of the joint qualifiers for the World Cup and 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 26, 2024

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a Gaza resolution that demands an immediate ceasefire for the month of Ramadan leading to a permanent sustainable ceasefire, and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages, at U.N. headquarters in New York City, U.S., March 25, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

U.N. Security Council for the first time demands immediate ceasefire in Gaza

The United Nations Security Council on March 25 demanded an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants Hamas and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages after the United States abstained from the vote .The remaining 14 council members voted for the resolution, which was proposed by the 10 elected members of the body. Washington had been averse to the word ceasefire earlier in the nearly six-month-old war in the Gaza Strip and had used its veto power to shield U.S. ally Israel as it retaliated against Hamas for an Oct. 7 attack that Israel says killed 1,200 people.

European Union investigates Tech giants under new digital Law

The EU, on March 25, launched probes into whether Apple, Alphabet and Meta violated a new law, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), in what is the latest instance of governments trying to exercise greater control over the functioning of big tech companies. The companies could be fined up to 10% of their global revenues and 20% for repeat infringements of the DMA.

Congress questions Modi government’s record in implementing women’s welfare schemes

On a day when an objectionable post by the Congress’ social media in-charge Supriya Shrinate against actor and BJP candidate from the Mandi Lok Sabha seat, Kangana Ranaut, triggered outrage, the Congress attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for reducing the budget of women-centred welfare schemes, flagging five key problems. Ms. Shrinate later clarified that the post had been authored by someone who had access to her social media accounts.

Alcohol warning in Hindi, foreign films on the rise

In recent weeks, the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has started requiring an increasing number of Hindi and foreign films to display anti-liquor watermarks for films that feature alcohol consumption, The Hindu has found, based on a review of cut lists of recent films issued by the censor board. For instance, All of Us Strangers, a British film classified ‘A’ for adult-only audiences that extensively features liquor abuse, has the warning onscreen for a significant duration of the film. 

Holi is special this year due to Ram temple inauguration, says Amit Shah in Gujarat

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on March 25 celebrated Holi with party functionaries in Ahmedabad .At the gathering in the BJP’s Gandhinagar Lok Sabha office, located in Thaltej area, Mr. Shah and Mr. Patel applied colours on party leaders, including Rajya Sabha MP Mayant Nayak, MLA Amit Thakar, Gandhinagar Mayor Hitesh Makwana, Gujarat BJP’s general secretary K.C. Patel and others of the women’s wing.

RLP supremo Hanuman Beniwal is INDIA bloc candidate from Nagaur following alliance with Congress

The Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) on March 25 announced its supremo Hanuman Beniwal as the INDIA bloc candidate for the Lok Sabha election from Rajasthan’s Nagaur seat following an alliance formed with the Opposition Congress. Mr. Beniwal — elected as an MLA from Nagaur district’s Khinvsar in 2023 — is likely to file his nomination papers on March 27 .The Congress had left the Nagaur seat for the RLP in the list of candidates released on Saturday. The two parties entered into an alliance in the State after intense negotiations lasting several days amid doubts created by the resignation of Mr. Beniwal’s close confidant Ummeda Ram Beniwal from the RLP and his entry into the Congress.

Advocate Robert Bruce to take on BJP’s Nainar Nagenthran in Tirunelveli

After days of marathon negotiations, intra-party squabbles and persuasions, advocate C. Robert Bruce, 62, of Saralvilai near Kattathurai in Kanniyakumari district has been fielded in Tirunelveli Parliamentary constituency as the Congress candidate. Sources in the Congress said the delay in announcing the candidate to take on BJP’s Nainar Nagenthran was due to the intense race among the aspirants in getting the ticket who left no stone unturned to achieve their political goal.

Congress lists ‘massive failures’ of WCD ministry, says will usher era of women’s safety in June

The Congress listed “massive failures” of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) in the last 10 years on March 25 and asserted that a new era of women’s safety, prosperity, and development will begin when its government “takes charge in June” .Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the formation of a Congress-led government in June 2024 will end the “10 years of anyaay-kaal for women”. He alleged the BJP government’s slogans of ‘nari shakti’ remain empty words without real action.

Kyiv endures a third bombardment in 5 days as Russia steps up targeting of Ukrainian cities

Russia launched missiles against Kyiv for the third time in five days Monday as Moscow escalated its aerial bombardment of Ukrainian cities while the front line in the war remains largely stationary .Nine people were injured in the strike on the Ukrainian capital, the Ukraine Rescue Service said. The Pecherskyi district was the hardest hit. Missile debris damaged homes in two districts and a local college gym in another district, Ukraine’s National Police said.

Don’t show hostility towards resident associations if they use public buildings for holding functions, Madras High Court tells civic bodies

Civic bodies such as the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) need not show hostility towards residents’ welfare associations by locking and sealing public buildings if vacant spaces in those buildings had been used by the residents for celebrating birthdays or for teaching yoga/music/dance to the children in the locality without any commercial motive, the Madras High Court has advised.

With nothing to lose, Akali Dal banking on panthic agenda

At the recently held core committee meeting, the SAD resolved to focus on panth issues, in an effort to resurrect itself on the hustings. “The party will continue to put principles above politics and it will never deviate from its historic role as a champion of the interests of Khalsa Panth [Sikh community], minorities, as well as all Punjabis. At the same time, we will continue to devote all our energies towards preserving the atmosphere of peace and communal harmony… As the sole representative of the Sikhs and all Punjabis, the party will continue its fight for more powers and genuine autonomy to the States. We have never compromised on these interests nor will we let our guard down on these issues in future,” said a resolution passed at the meeting, which was presided by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Donald Trump’s $454 million civil fraud judgment fine slashed to $175M by New York appeals court

A New York appeals court on March 25 agreed to hold off collection of former President Donald Trump’s $454 million civil fraud judgment — if he puts up $175 million within 10 days. If he does, it will stop the clock on collection and prevent the State from seizing the presumptive Republican Presidential nominee’s assets while he appeals. The development came just before New York Attorney General Letitia James was expected to initiate efforts to collect the judgment. Messages seeking comment were sent to Ms. James’ office and to Mr. Trump’s lawyers.

IPL-17: RCB vs PBKS | Virat Kohli’s exceptional fifty carries Bengaluru to four-wicket victory over Punjab Kings

Virat Kohli produced a quality half-century on a slightly gummy pitch that took the Holi-day crowd on a joyride and the Royal Challengers Bengaluru to a four-wicket victory over Punjab Kings in an IPL match here on Monday .The 177-run target wasn’t a massively tough one, but needed a meticulous scaling down because of the deck’s nature. Kohli (77, 49b, 11×4, 2×6) conducted it to near-perfection as RCB made 178 for six with four balls to spare to register their first win of this IPL.

Refrain from contesting Lok Sabha election, Manipur’s Kuki-Zo tribals urged

A tribal forum in ethnic strife-torn Manipur has urged the Kuki-Zo people to exercise their franchise but refrain from contesting in the Lok Sabha election in April .The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) has been the voice of the ethnic communities belonging to the Kuki-Zo group since their conflict with the Meiteis broke out on May 3, 2023. “The ITLF Presidential Council, in consultation with its constituent member-tribes, has agreed that no member from the Kuki-Zo community should file nomination for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, considering the plight that we are facing,” the forum said in a statement on March 25.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 25, 2024

Left candidates trounce ABVP in JNU students’ union elections

Around 11.30 p.m, the election committee declared that the United Left panel won three posts of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU), while the Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students’ Association (BAPSA) won one post. The RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad lost all the posts by a few hundred votes. Dhananjay of the AISA, who won the president’s post with a total of 2,598 votes, said, “I’m overwhelmed at the support I have received. It has been made clear that the students are unhappy with the government and they want things to change.” The ABVP’s Umesh Chandra Ajmeera came second with 1,676 votes.

Lok Sabha elections | Congress drops Jaipur candidate after row over links to right-wing forum

Following a political uproar over its choice of candidate for the Jaipur City Lok Sabha seat, the Congress on March 24 dropped Sunil Sharma and fielded former minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas in his place .Mr. Sharma has been associated with Jaipur Dialogues, a right-wing forum that is known to target the Congress leadership and target minority communities. In a fresh list of three names on Sunday, the party fielded Mr. Khachariyawas, a minister in the Ashok Gehlot government, from Jaipur.

Lok Sabha elections | Kangana Ranaut, Arun Govil, Maneka Gandhi in BJP fifth list; Varun Gandhi dropped

Bollywood star Kangana Ranaut and television actor Arun Govil, who starred in the Ramayan series, are among the names in the BJP’s fifth list of 111 candidates from 17 States for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, released on Sunday. Ms. Ranaut will contest from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, while Mr. Govil will contest from Meerut.

Pakistan to ‘seriously examine’ restarting trade with India: Foreign Minister

Pakistan will “seriously examine” whether to restart trade with India, said its newly appointed Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar. Responding to questions during a press meet in London, Mr. Dar said he had been approached last year by Pakistani businesspersons over the issue, and said any decision would follow a full discussion with all stakeholders. Meanwhile, visiting Singapore, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankarhit out at Pakistan for its “industry-level” support to terrorism, stressing that any talks with Pakistan would need to “face up to the problem”. 

IPL 2024, GT vs MI | Titans keep their nerve, MI loses its poise and the plot

Shubman Gill passed his first captaincy test as Gujarat Titans eked out a nervous six-run win over Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League opener at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Sunday .Pursuing 169, MI was coasting along at 107 for two after 12 overs. But Sai Kishore trapping Rohit Sharma (43, 29b, 7×4, 1×6) leg-before and Mohit Sharma sending back Dewald Brevis (46, 38b, 2×4, 3×6) and Tim David triggered a scarcely believable downturn.

Sri Lanka’s ex-president Sirisena to be quizzed by police over controversial remark on Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s former President Maithripala Sirisena will face police questioning on Monday on his recent remarks on the 2019 Easter Sunday suicide bombings that he was “aware” of the masterminds of the attacks that killed 270 people, including 11 Indians. Sirisena, 72, was president between 2015 January and 2019 November. He had previously denied any knowledge of the attacks. Police chief Deshabandu Tennakoon told reporters on Sunday that Sirisena’s statement would be recorded on Monday.

AAP leadership goes into huddle, workers told to remain united

The entire brass of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi went into a huddle on Sunday, with its leaders asking workers to step up their presence on social media platforms and remain united following the arrest of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in an excise policy case .Mr. Kejriwal, AAP national convener, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on March 21 in the case involving allegations that the now-scrapped 2021-22 excise policy benefited certain liquor manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers for monetary considerations.

IPL 2024 | Just a matter of time before Pant regains form: Sidhu

Former India opener Navjot Sidhu is confident wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant’s return to form is just a “matter of time” following his nearly 15-month-long absence from professional cricket after a horrific car crash .Pant is back leading his Indian Premier League side Delhi Capitals after missing the action last season due to his recovery and rehabilitation. Though Pant did not have the comeback he would have wished for in DC’s match against Punjab Kings here on Saturday, being dismissed for 18 by Harshal Patel, he was quick between the wickets, took a catch behind the stumps and also effected a stumping.

Former judge, Trinamool turncoats, and woman from Sandeshkhali in West Bengal BJP candidate list

The second list of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha election comprised a mixed bag, including former Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, two turncoats from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), and a woman from Sandeshkhali who was at the receiving end of the violence .Former Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who resigned from the Calcutta High Court recently, has been nominated from the Tamluk Lok Sabha seat. The party has fielded Arjun Singh from Barrackpore, and Tapas Roy from Kolkata Uttar. Both Mr. Singh and Mr. Roy had quit the Trinamool Congress to join the BJP recently. The BJP candidates from Tamluk, Kolkata Uttar, and Barrackpore had joined the party earlier this month.

CBI team revisits Sandeshkhali to gather more evidence in the ED team attack case

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team, probing the attack on Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials at West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali on January 5, on March 24 visited a village in the area to gather more evidence .This is the second visit by the CBI to Sarberia village in North 24 Parganas district after getting the custody of suspended Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Shahjahan Sheikh, the main accused in the attack, on March 6. CBI officials had gone to Mr. Sheikh’s house the following day and, after finding it locked, clicked its photos and talked to local people.

Lok Sabha polls: Samajwadi Party fields S.T. Hasan from Moradabad, changes its Bijnor candidate

The Samajwadi Party on March 24 renominated its Lok Sabha MP from Moradabad S T Hasan from the same seat and changed its Bijnor candidate by fielding Deepak Saini, the son of a party MLA .The party announced the names in a post on X. The Samajwadi Party had earlier named Yashveer Singh as its candidate from Bijnor. However, on Sunday, it named Deepak Saini as its candidate for the seat. He is the son of Ram Avtar Saini, the SP legislator from the Noorpur assembly segment that comes under the Bijnor parliamentary constituency.

Myanmar rights group asks India not to deport refugees

A Myanmar-based organisation has asked the Manipur government not to deport Myanmar refugees back to the war-torn country unless they choose to return. They say people returning are likely to face conscription .The Nongthombam Biren Singh government began the process of sending back 77 refugees from Myanmar by deporting eight of them on March 8. In a statement issued on Sunday, the Burma Refugees Committee – Kabaw Valley said they feared that they would be handed over to the military junta.

Ireland to get its youngest ever premier as Simon Harris elected leader of Fine Gael party

Ireland is poised to get its youngest-ever premier after Simon Harris secured the leadership of the Fine Gael party on Sunday, replacing Leo Varadkar who announced his surprise resignation last week .The 37-year-old Mr. Harris, who is the government’s Further and Higher Education Minister, was the only candidate to put his name forward to succeed Mr. Varadkar, who had been Ireland’s previous youngest Prime Minister, or what Ireland calls its taoiseach.

Industrialist and former Congress MP Naveen Jindal joins BJP

Industrialist and former MP Naveen Jindal quit the Congress and joined the BJP on Sunday. He said that he wanted to contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda of ‘Viksit Bharat’ .BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde was present at the ceremony. He said Jindal’s presence in the party will help the government’s agenda of boosting the economy and creating prosperity. Mr. Tawde noted that the Jindal Steel chairperson has a keen interest in sports and education as well.

Only classes 3 and 6 will receive new textbooks in 2024-25, says CBSE

Only students in Classes 3 and 6 will receive new textbooks for the upcoming academic year of 2024-25, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) confirmed on March 22, in a circular sent to all schools affiliated with the board. The new textbooks are being formulated by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 24, 2024

Congress names Digvijaya Singh from Rajgarh in Madhya Pradesh, Ajay Rai from PM Modi’s Varanasi seat in fourth list

The Congress on Saturday announced 45 names in its fourth list of candidates for the Lok Sabha polls while one seat for the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) in Rajasthan. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh will contest the Rajgarh seat in the State while Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Rai has been fielded from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seat of Varanasi. Chhattisgarh Congress chief and sitting member from Bastar, Deepak Baij, has been dropped as the party named Kawasi Lakhma from the seat.

Electoral bonds linked to project clearances by BRS government in Telangana

The purchase of electoral bonds and subsequent encashment by the then ruling party in Telangana, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), seemed to be closely linked to the award of contracts and opening of new units by donor companies, if the report submitted to the Election Commission (EC) is to be believed .In Telangana, the BRS encashed the bonds donated by IRB Infra, which were purchased a few weeks after the Outer Ring Road (ORR) contract was awarded to the company. The BRS government gave a Letter of Acceptance (LoA) to IRB Infra on April 27, 2023, leasing out the ORR for 30 years for maintenance.

BJP made ‘bribes’ legal via electoral bonds: Congress

Alleging that the electoral bond (EB) scheme ensured that “prepaid, postpaid, and post-raid bribes” could be routed through regular banking channels, the Congress on March 23 reiterated its demand for a Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the scheme .Addressing a press conference at party headquarters, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said that an analysis of recently published State Bank of India (SBI) data has revealed that 38 corporate groups received 179 government contracts and projects worth ₹3.8 lakh crore after donating electoral bonds to the BJP.

AAP raises concern with CEC as Delhi Police block party office

Alleging that the Delhi police have blocked all routes to the Aam Aadmi Party’s office in the national capital after the arrest of the party’s national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP wrote to Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on March 23 seeking a meeting to present their urgent grievances.

Winter lacks bite in Munnar as frost gives the hill station a miss this year

Munnar, the hill station famed for its misty mornings from December to February, has deviated from its usual winter pattern this year. Officials say winter was marked by a total lack of frost, a first in the past two decades, which is unprecedented .Data from the United Planters Association of South India tea research centre in Munnar show that no sub-zero temperature was reported this year in Munnar town. “The lowest recorded temperature was 2°C on January 18 and 19 at Silent Valley Estate under Kanan Devan Plantations in Munnar. “This year, there was an absence of frosty conditions in Munnar compared to the past 20 years,” says a source.

Nitish shortlists JD(U) candidates for 16 seats in Bihar, many of them are sitting MPs

With the first phase of the upcoming Lok Sabha election less than a month away, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), has shortlisted candidates for its 16 constituencies in Bihar based on seat-sharing within the alliance. Barring a few seats, party president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, it is said, has opted to repeat several candidates.

Now, Karnataka knocks on Supreme Court’s door seeking drought relief from Centre

As repeated appeals seeking funds under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) from the Centre have not yielded results, the Congress government in Karnataka has filed a petition in the Supreme Court against the Union government for denying financial assistance for drought management in the State .The move is expected to trigger a fresh political debate in the run-up to the two-phase Lok Sabha elections in the State. Earlier too, Karnataka raised the issue of “discrimination” by the Centre in devolution of funds, clearances to projects and financial assistance for schemes.

2024 Lok Sabha election | Prakash Ambedkar remains ambivalent over MVA tie-up; will clear stand on March 26

Continuing to maintain an ambivalent stance towards forging an alliance with the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) president Prakash Ambedkar on Saturday said his party would announce its decision on March 26 on whether it would contest the Lok Sabha election independently or go along with the MVA. Mr. Ambedkar again claimed that the MVA parties (which include Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena UBT, the Congress, and Sharad Pawar’s NCP-SP) had yet to resolve their seat-sharing problems and that it was wrong to point fingers at the VBA for acting as a roadblock in seat-sharing discussions.

2024 Lok Sabha election: U.P. BJP to depute minority party workers to counter ‘bogus’ voting

In a first of its kind move, the Uttar Pradesh wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will depute women members from the Muslim community as agents on minority dominant polling booths to keep a check on bogus voters for the upcoming Lok Sabha election. The BJP Minority Morcha, which planned this initiative, said the focus will be on parts of Western U.P. from where the party claims to have received reports of bogus voting in previous elections. 

IPL-17: KKR vs SRH | Russell, Salt fifties carry KKR to four-run win over SRH despite Klaasen’s heroics

Andre Russel’s all-round effort headlined Kolkata Knight Riders’ sweaty four-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL match here on Saturday .Russell’s brutal unbeaten 64 off 25 balls with three fours and seven sixes and Phil Salt’s more pragmatic 54 off 40 balls guided KKR to 208 for seven. Left-arm pacer T Natarajan was their most successful bowler with a three-wicket haul (3/32). At several points, SRH threatened to chase 208 down, particularly when Heinrich Klaasen (63, 29b, 8x6s) went berserk in the backend of the innings.

Hong Kong lawmakers pass new national security law, giving government more power to curb dissent

Hong Kong lawmakers passed a new national security law on Tuesday that grants the government more power to quash dissent, widely seen as the latest step in a sweeping political crackdown that was triggered by pro-democracy protests in 2019. The legislature passed the Safeguarding National Security Law during a special session Tuesday. It comes on top of a similar law imposed by Beijing four years ago, which has already largely silenced opposition voices in the financial hub.

BJP ends alliance with SKM; to contest Lok Sabha, Assembly polls in Sikkim alone

The BJP on March 23 called off its alliance with the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) and announced that the party would go alone in the simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the Himalayan State. The SKM, on the other hand, did not rule out the possibility of a post-poll alliance with the BJP on the lines of a similar arrangement made after the 2019 polls. The announcement to fight the upcoming polls alone was made by State BJP president D.R. Thapa, who returned to Sikkim after attending a meeting with the party’s central leadership in Delhi on seat-sharing with SKM.

Israel says 170 Gaza gunmen killed in hospital raid

Israeli forces fighting in Gaza have killed more than 170 gunmen during their days-long raid at the Palestinian enclave’s main hospital, the military said on Saturday .Israeli troops entered Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City in the early hours of March 18 morning and have been combing through the sprawling complex, which the military says is connected to a tunnel network used as a base for Hamas and other Palestinian fighters. “Thus far, the forces eliminated more than 170 terrorists in the area of the hospital, questioned over 800 suspects, and located numerous weapons and terror infrastructure,” the military said.

Kejriwal seeks police officer’s removal from security; court orders for CCTV camera footage to be preserved

A local court has directed authorities to preserve CCTV camera footage on a plea filed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, seeking the removal of a Delhi Police officer deployed for security in the court for alleged misconduct .“Application has been filed on behalf of the accused [Kejriwal] stating that the security staff/in-charge responsible for bringing him for production before the court, namely ACP [Assistant Commissioner of Police] A.K. Singh, is unnecessarily harsh and mishandled the people around the courtroom,” Special Judge Kaveri Baweja noted.

2024 General elections | These are the Lok Sabha constituencies, Assemblies going to polls in Phase 1

The 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, which are set to commence from April 19, will see the country vote in seven phases as simultaneous elections also take place for four State Assemblies — Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh .A total of 102 Parliamentary constituencies in 21 States and Union Territories (UTs) will go to the polls in the first phase on April 19. The last date of nominations in Phase 1 for all 20 States and UTs other than Bihar is March 27. For Bihar, it is March 28 due to a festival.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 23, 2024

People lay flowers and lit candles in memory of the Moscow concert gun attack victims in the center of Simferopol, Crimea, on March 22, 2024. Gunmen opened fire at a Moscow concert hall on March 22, 2024 killing at least 40 people, wounding more than 100 and sparking an inferno, authorities said, with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility.
| Photo Credit: AFP

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack on Moscow concert hall that killed several people 

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a gun attack on a Moscow concert hall on March 22, which Russian authorities said killed several people. IS fighters “attacked a large gathering… on the outskirts of the Russian capital Moscow”, the group said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app. Russia’s Federal Security Service said 40 people died and more than 100 were wounded in the attack.

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu seeks debt relief from India amid tensions

After his anti-India rhetoric, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has struck a reconciliatory tone, saying India will continue to remain his country’s “closest ally” and urged New Delhi to provide debt relief to the archipelago nation.

Arvind Kejriwal sent to ED custody till March 28

A court on March 22 remanded Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal in Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody till March 28, a day after the Central agency arrested him in connection with an excise policy-linked money laundering case. Special Judge (Prevention of Corruption Act) Kaveri Baweja of the Rouse Avenue Courts asked for Mr. Kejriwal to be produced before her on March 28 at 2 p.m. The six-day remand came on an ED plea seeking his 10-day custody in the case.

INDIA bloc leaders reach out to EC, highlight ‘misuse’ of Central agencies

A day after the arrest of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by the Enforcement Directorate in the excise policy case, a delegation of INDIA bloc leaders on March 22 called on the Election Commission (EC) to allege “unrelenting, blatant and illegal deployment of Central Agencies” by the ruling BJP to target the Opposition parties. The delegation presented a memorandum in which the INDIA bloc leaders submitted a list of 10 instances of agencies going after the Opposition parties since January and the absence of a level playing field in the elections.

Delhi High Court rejects Congress’s plea against tax reassessment

In a huge setback to the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Delhi High Court on March 22 rejected its pleas challenging the reassessment proceedings initiated against it by the Income Tax department. The court said the I-T department “appears to have collated substantial and concrete evidence warranting further scrutiny and examination”.

AAP workers hit streets; police ramp up security; traffic goes into a tailspin

Central Delhi turned into a fortress as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers reached Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Marg on Friday to protest against the arrest of their party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Stalin launches campaign with scathing attack on PM Modi over electoral bonds, corruption

Chief Minister and DMK president M.K. Stalin hit the campaign trail for the Lok Sabha election on Friday with a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said that the electoral bonds scheme had turned out to be a “Himalayan scam” that had brought shame to the country.

Lalu Prasad shortlists candidates, may field daughter Rohini from Saran Lok Sabha seat

The Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar is abuzz with talks that party chief Lalu Prasad is likely to field two of his daughters in the Lok Sabha election. Mr. Prasad could field eldest daughter Misa Bharti from Patliputra seat again and second daughter Rohini Acharya from Saran, said party sources.

Arrest of Kejriwal will only positively impact the INDIA bloc, says VCK chief Thirumavalavan

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol. Thirumavalavan on Friday condemned the arrest of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the Delhi excise policy case but said it will only galvanise the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Result of his own actions: Anna Hazare on Kejriwal’s arrest

Social activist Anna Hazare on March 22 said that he had cautioned Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, currently arrested in the excise policy case, to refrain from involvement in such policy matters. Mr. Hazare, a key figure in the Lokpal movement alongside Mr. Kejriwal in the early 2010s, stated that the Delhi Chief Minister’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was a consequence of his own actions.

OBC leaders extend unconditional support for Congress

An umbrella organisation of backward classes outfits, representing the interest of other backward classes (OBC), called on Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday and announced its “unconditional support” to the INDIA bloc. Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was also present at the meeting that took place in Mr. Kharge’s official residence.

Rights groups seek return of land taken away in Sandeshkhali

A collective of four civil rights organisations on Friday released a fact finding report on Sandeshkhali violence and demanded that the lands which have been forcibly taken from the villagers be returned and made cultivable at the expense of the State government. Sandeshkhali, a block in Sundarban and under the administrative control of North 24 Parganas district was on the boil over past several weeks over allegations of sexual assault.

Post surprise inspection, CBSE cancels affiliations of 20 schools citing malpractices

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has cancelled the affiliation of 20 schools across India on Friday, after it was revealed that these schools were involved in malpractices. The malpractices included presenting dummy students, ineligible candidates and not maintaining records properly, said Secretary, CBSE, Himanshu Gupta.

Arvind Kejriwal entitled to fair and impartial trial, says German Foreign Ministry

Germany on Friday became the first major global power to remind that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday has the right to a “fair and impartial trial.”

YouTuber Elvish Yadav gets bail in drugs case, to be taken to Gurugram from Noida jail today

A Gautam Buddh Nagar court granted bail to controversial YouTuber Siddharth Yadav alias Elvish Yadav in a drugs case on March 22, six days after he was lodged in a jail in Noida, his lawyers said. The jail authorities said they have received Mr. Yadav’s release order but he would be handed over on March 23 to the custody of a court in Haryana’s Gurugram, where he is to be produced in an assault case involving content creator Sagar Thakur alias Maxtern.

With Bhutan’s Gelephu project in mind, India to double assistance to ₹10,000 crore for next 5 years

India has decided to double Bhutan’s assistance over the next five years, from ₹5,000 crore in 2019-2024 to ₹10,000 crore for the period till 2029, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in Thimphu on March 22. Mr. Modi made the announcement after he was awarded Bhutan’s highest honour, the ‘Order of the Druk Gyalpo’, which was announced in 2021, to acknowledge India’s role in ensuring “Bhutan’s success in managing the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Princess of Wales Kate Middleton says she is having chemotherapy after cancer discovery

Britain’s Princess of Wales Catherine “Kate” Middleton, said on March 22 she was undergoing preventative chemotherapy after tests taken following major abdominal surgery in January revealed cancer had been present. Princess Kate, 42, the wife of heir-to-the-throne Prince William, spent two weeks in hospital in January after having what her office said at the time was a successful, planned surgery for a non-cancerous but unspecified condition.

Simon Harris set to be Ireland’s youngest PM

Simon Harris, set to become Ireland’s youngest ever taoiseach (Prime Minister), will hope his social media skills and fresh face can save his party’s flagging fortunes as elections loom. Already dubbed by media the “TikTok Taoiseach” (pronounced “Tee-shock”), the 37-year-old beats the previous record holder, predecessor Leo Varadkar, who was 38 when he took the top job in 2017.

Russia and China veto U.S. resolution in UNSC calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Russia and China on March 22 vetoed a U.S.-sponsored U.N. resolution calling for “an immediate and sustained cease-fire” in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza to protect civilians and enable humanitarian aid to be delivered to more than 2 million hungry Palestinians. The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 11 members in favor, three against and one abstention.

IPL-17; CSK vs RCB | Mustafizur and batters fashion CSK’s winning start

Ruturaj Gaikwad couldn’t have asked for a better start as captain of Chennai Super Kings as his side began its title defence in style with a comfortable six-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the opening game of IPL-17 at MAC Stadium on March 17. Chasing 174, CSK powered through to the target, riding on a series of cameos from its batters. Opener Rachin Ravindra set the ball rolling by blasting a quickfire 37 (15b, 3×4, 3×6) before Ajinkya Rahane, Daryl Mitchell, Shivam Dube, and Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with valuable contributions.

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The Hindu Morning Digest, March 21, 2024

PM Modi cancels visit to Bhutan due to inclement weather

A day ahead of his planned departure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi put off his visit to Bhutan due to “inclement weather”, an announcement made simultaneously by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Bhutanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday evening. The visit is being rescheduled, although no dates were given. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was due to land in Paro, Bhutan’s only international airport at present, and travel to the capital Thimphu on Thursday morning, and return by the same route on Friday morning. However, with heavy rain and possible snowfall in Paro predicted to continue on Thursday, officials said the visit had to be postponed.

Take ‘stringent action’ against Rahul Gandhi for ‘shakti’ remarks: BJP to Election Commission

The BJP on March 20 lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against Rahul Gandhi for his “fight against a shakti” remarks at a recent rally in Mumbai, and urged the poll panel to take “stringent action” against the Congress leader and issue directions for lodging an FIR against him.

Indian government probe found ‘rogue operatives’ involved in plot to kill Pannun, says media report

An Indian government investigation into the alleged plot to kill Khalistani separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun in New York City has found that “rogue operatives”, not authorised by the government, were involved, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Federal prosecutors in the U.S. had, in November, accused an Indian citizen, Nikhil Gupta, of plotting to kill Pannun at the behest of an Indian government official.

Government employees defer indefinite strike plan demanding restoration of the old pension scheme

The Joint Forum for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme (JFROPS), a platform of employees of the government and various public sector undertakings, has decided to defer the indefinite strike they had announced from May 1 demanding restoration of the old pension scheme.

With Congress yet to declare 18 candidates, BJP tries to make early gains in Madhya Pradesh

With the Congress yet to declare 18 candidates in Madhya Pradesh for the Lok Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday stepped up its game to make early gains against the Opposition party. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav, who is campaigning for the BJP candidates in Sidhi, Jabalpur and Mandla Lok Sabha constituencies, claimed that the Congress was unable to announce all the tickets as “even senior party leaders are not willing to contest the polls”.

Congress poll panel clears name of Sushil Kumar Shinde’s daughter for Solapur seat

The central election committee (CEC) of the Congress on Wednesday is believed to have cleared the names of 12 candidates from Maharashtra for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, including Praniti Shinde from Solapur, daughter of former Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Jharkhand HC stays defamation case against Rahul Gandhi for one month

The Jharkhand High Court on March 20 stayed the 2018 defamation case filed against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for one month. On February 27, the MP-MLA Court of Chaibasa district had issued a non-bailable warrant against Mr. Gandhi and subsequently on March 14, the court had mandated the Congress leader for physical appearance, refusing his petition to make his appearance through a pleader.

CCI dismisses pleas of Indian app cos against Google’s new Play Store billing policy

Fair trade regulator CCI on March 20 dismissed four petitions of Indian app companies filed against Google’s new Play Store billing policy to levy an 11 to 26% charge on in-app payments. Indian-origin app firms alleged that Google’s Play Store payment policies are anti-competitive.

Remove all unauthorised political advertisements from public spaces, EC tells Centre, States

The Election Commission on March 20 asked both the Union and State governments to remove all unauthorised political advertisements, such as posters, wall writings, hoardings and banners, from public spaces like railway stations, bus stands, airports and government buses. In a letter to the Cabinet Secretary as well as Chief Secretaries of all States, the commission sought a compliance report in the matter by 5 p.m. on March 21.

NEET PG rescheduled to June 23 due to Lok Sabha elections

In view of the Lok Sabha elections, the National Medical Commission (NMC) on Wednesday rescheduled medical entrance exam NEET PG to June 23. The NEET PG 2024 was scheduled to be held on July 7.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev undergoes emergency brain surgery

Spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev underwent an emergency brain surgery at a private hospital in New Delhi, a statement from the hospital said on March 20. The surgery was carried out on March 17 to remove bleeding in the skull. Sadhguru was weaned off the ventilator post-surgery, the statement from Indraprastha Apollo Hospital said, adding he has shown “steady progress and his brain, body and vital parameters have improved”.

Kargil observes shutdown, holds rally to support activist Sonam Wangchuk’s ongoing fast for statehood to Ladakh

Ladakh’s Kargil town observed a shutdown and hundreds of locals came out in support of activist Sonam Wangchuk, whose climate-related fast in sub-zero temperature and under the open skies entered the 15th day on Wednesday, in a bid to press the Centre to grant Statehood and Sixth Schedule status to the four-year-old Union Territory (UT).

Former General with ties to past dictatorship confirmed as Indonesia’s next president

Prabowo Subianto, a former special forces general with ties to Indonesia’s current president and past dictatorship, was confirmed the victor of last month’s presidential election over two former governors who have vowed to contest the result in court. Mr. Subianto won 58.6% of the votes, while former Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan received 24.9% and former Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo got 16.5%, the General Election Commission said Wednesday after the official counting was completed.

A wooden boat carrying dozens of Rohingya Muslim migrants capsizes off Indonesia’s coast

A wooden boat carrying dozens of Rohingya Muslims capsized off Indonesia’s northernmost coast on Wednesday. Local fishermen rescued six refugees who said more people were still on the boat. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

China to launch ‘international manhunt’ to target officials involved in graft in BRI projects: Report

China plans to launch an “international manhunt” to target officials allegedly involved in corruption in the country’s ambitious decade-old multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a media report said March 20. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Communist Party of China’s anti-corruption watchdog, made the call in a meeting on March 19 with multiple agencies involved in the cross-border corruption hunt, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

IPL Countdown | Super Kings will bank on consistency and inspirational leadership to defend crown

When Ravindra Jadeja hit the winning runs off the last ball of the final to help Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Gujarat Titans, and clinch its fifth title in Ahmedabad last year, there were wild celebrations but also a bit of trepidation in the air. There was a feeling that CSK’s talismanic captain, M.S. Dhoni, could well bid adieu to the game in style.

IPL Countdown | Spotlight on first-time skipper Gill as the Titans usher in a new era

When Gujarat Titans came into being in 2022, not many expected the side to find instant success. The competition in IPL was brutal, for in the 14 seasons until then, 11 had been won by just three teams. There were three others who had not touched any silverware in more than a decade’s existence.

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