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While you were away: Top 10 stories to bring you up to date

From the Centre miffed with state police after Lucknow encounter to RSS’ Aseemanand acquitted in the Ajmer Dargah blast case, here’s your daily digest of news.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2017 08:08 IST
HT Correspondent
Security men including ATS commandos led an encounter against a suspected militant holed up inside a house in Lucknow’s Kakori area.
Security men including ATS commandos led an encounter against a suspected militant holed up inside a house in Lucknow’s Kakori area.(Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

Here’s your daily update on what’s in the news:

1) Lucknow encounter: Centre miffed with UP and MP police for ‘jumping to conclusions’

Uttar Pradesh police commandos shot dead a lone gunman in Lucknow on Wednesday who they said was influenced by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. The police in UP and Madhya Pradesh claimed to have found IS links to the 23-year-old man, prompting the Centre to censure the states for “jumping to conclusions”. “Officials in both states should have exercised restraint before airing premature comments”, a senior home ministry official said.

Read the full story here.

2) 2007 Ajmer blast case: Swami Aseemanand acquitted, three convicted

A Jaipur court convicted three persons but let off former RSS member Aseemanand and six others in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case in which 26 witnesses turned hostile. NIA court judge Dinesh Gupta found RSS members Sunil Joshi and Devendra Gupta guilty of planning the blasts – one of the two bombs didn’t go off -- and Bhavesh Bhai Patel of planting the explosive. Three persons were killed and 15 injured in the explosion at the shrine of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer on October 11, 2007.

Read the full story here.

3) Aadhaar mandatory for free cooking gas connections, Delhi HC issues notice on PDS

The Union government has made the 12-digit Unique Identification (UID) number must for poor women to get cooking gas connections and defence pensioners to receive their payments, in notifications released this week. The move is expected to draw criticism from activists who say the enrolment to Aadhaar should not be a condition to receive state benefits. Meanwhile the Delhi high court issued a notice to the Centre on a petition challenging the government’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for beneficiaries of subsidised foodgrains through the public distribution system (PDS).

Read the full stories here and here.

4) G4 nations, including India, urge UNSC to speed up reforms

The G4 countries — India, Japan, Germany and Brazil — on Tuesday asked the United Nations to speed up security council reforms, saying, with ill-concealed frustration, they were willing to discuss anything, even old and rejected ideas, to advance the process. India has reiterated that it is willing to forego veto powers for new UNSC members in the interest of expediting reform.

Read the full story here.

5) ‘VIP counter’ at AIIMS draws the ire of faculty association

The “VIPs” and the patients referred by them can now escape long queues at AIIMS, with the hospital administration setting up a separate counter for such people. The definition of VIPs, however, will be determined by senior figures including the AIIMS director, medical superintendent and the officer on special duty (OSD) to the union health minister. The move has drawn ire of the Faculty Association of AIIMS (FAIIMS) which saw it as the administration’s “brazen attempt” to promote VIP culture in the premier institute.

Read the full story here.

6) Hate crime: Five US mosques get intimidating messages, including a bomb threat

Five mosques in the US have received intimidating messages, including a bomb threat and one saying “death is waiting for you and your kind”, prompting calls for increasing security at Muslim facilities. A mosque in Lexington, Kentucky, stepped up security following a bomb threat it received this weekend.

Read the full story here.

7) US lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard criticises CNN over ‘negative’ portrayal of Hinduism

Tulsi Gabbard, the first and only Hindu lawmaker in the US Congress, on Wednesday accused CNN of “sensational and false” reporting about religions after it aired a show called Believer which allegedly portrays Hinduism in a negative light. The show’s host Reza “Aslan and CNN did not just throw a harsh light on a sect of wandering ascetics to create shocking visuals — as if touring a zoo — but repeated false stereotypes about caste, karma and reincarnation that Hindus have been combating tirelessly,” she said.

Read the full story here.

8) NIA releases 2 Pakistani teens arrested for Uri attack

The country’s top anti-terror agency on Wednesday released two Pakistani boys arrested on charges of aiding the September 18 Uri attack and handed them over to the army to be sent back home. Clearing the two classmates of all charges, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed didn’t have terror links and strayed into India after a quarrel with their parents.

Read the full story here.

9) ICC to take no action against Virat Kohli and Steve Smith on DRS row

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided not to levy any charges against India captain Virat Kohli and Australia skipper Steve Smith after a major DRS controversy erupted, following the latter’s dismissal during the thrilling second Test in Bangalore on Tuesday. Kohli accused Smith of looking up to the dressing room for a signal on whether to review his leg-before decision in the second innings. In a statement, the cricket body said: “The ICC has considered both incidents in the context of this match and concluded it will be taking no further action against either player.

Read the full story here.

10) Air fare to boiled eggs in school: Here’s how Delhi budget will impact you

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government tabled the Delhi budget for 2017-18 on Wednesday. It claimed that Delhi’s growth rate had slowed due to demonetisation but said its budget offers benefits to citizens. Here’s how the budget affects students, teachers, travellers and those needing health care.

Read the full story here.

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11) Manipur elections: How BJP plans to end 15-year Congress rule using the Assam formula

Learning from the failure to open its account in Manipur in 2012, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made an ambitious push five years later to end Congress’s 15-year rule in the state. The party is contesting all 60 seats and like in Assam it has roped in Congress politicians to fight on its ticket and hopes to win 30-35 seats.

Read the full story here.

12) Six men face partial blindness: Kashmir’s pellet woes continue

The partial blinding of six young men over the weekend during protests in Tral has underlined the continued use of pellet guns in Kashmir despite criticism, calls for ban and even assurances from security forces. A senior ophthalmologist at Srinagar’s SMHS hospital where they are admitted told HT that the injuries were “bad” and the patients would have to undergo at least two rounds of surgeries before ascertaining whether vision will be restored or not.

Read the full story here.