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

Manhunt launched to catch six militants who killed an Indian Army officer in Kashmir, UK officials ask for material evidence against Vijay Mallya, US imposes sanctions against Pakistan-based backers of Lashkar-e-Taiba, and al Qaeda. Here’s a list of top stories to bring you up to date.

india Updated: May 12, 2017 07:21 IST
HT Correspondent
Ummer Fayaz

Indian Army personnel attend the funeral of Lt Ummer Fayaz, who was killed in Shopian district of Kashmir.(HT Photo)

Six Lashkar, Hizbul militants involved in killing of army officer Ummer Fayaz

Six militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen were involved in the abduction and killing of a young army officer in Shopian district of Kashmir and a massive manhunt has been launched to catch them, defence sources said on Thursday. The bullet-riddled body of 22-year-old Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz from Kashmir was found in Harmen area of Shopian on Wednesday morning, hours after he was abducted by militants from Batpura village.

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Meeting with Jindal was part of back-channel diplomacy, PM Sharif tells Pak Army

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has informed Pakistan’s powerful army his meeting with Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal was part of “back-channel diplomacy” but the military made it clear that Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case cannot be discussed during such contacts. BBC Urdu quoted government sources as saying that Sharif had, during a recent meeting, taken army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa into confidence regarding his discussions with Jindal.

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Britain seeks material evidence for Mallya’s extradition, UK hearing deferred

Indian officials who flew to London to press for fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s extradition have returned disappointed. British prosecutors reportedly asked them to provide material evidence to explain the “circumstances” in which the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines defaulted on loans, a query that indicates scepticism over allegations of Mallya being a wilful defaulter. An agency official privy to their deliberations in London told HT that they want India to provide evidence that he did not suffer bona fide losses, and the liquor baron’s offence is criminal – not civil – in nature.

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Police arrest three after Kanpur IPL match over alleged involvement in betting

Three suspected bookies were arrested on Thursday from a Kanpur hotel which hosted players of Gujarat Lions and Daredevils who clashed in the first Indian Premier League (IPL) match held in the Uttar Pradesh city, police said. Police are also likely to question two Gujarat Lions players who were allegedly named by the suspected bookies. The arrests have raised suspicion of betting in the tournament that was blighted by corruption scandals involving players and officials in 2013 and led to a massive shake-up of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

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India’s next President: Opposition keeps options open, but will wait for NDA’s announcement

From Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopal Krishna Gandhi to Babu Jagjivan Ram’s daughter Meira Kumar, the opposition camp is keeping its options open for fielding a candidate in the upcoming presidential polls. Congress sources added that if the BJP proposes incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee’s name for another term, the Opposition will agree, but it will not pitch for Mukherjee on its own.

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Mayawati is a gangster, says Siddiqui; she calls him a blackmailer

Expelled national general secretary of the BSP Naseemuddin Siddiqui on Thursday described party chief Mayawati as a gangster who leads a number of criminal gangs while she hit back labeling him “a habitual blackmailer”. “On her direction, members of her gang kill people, set houses afire, beat up rivals, break their cars and issue threats as well,” he alleged. She had also hatched a conspiracy to kill a senior BSP leader, Siddiqui said at a press conference, a day after he and his son Afzaal were expelled from the Bahujan Samaj Party for alleged anti-party activities.

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With eye on 2019 elections, Amit Shah on a 110-day tour to win for BJP and Modi

Amit Shah is on a roll. High on a three-fourths majority win in Uttar Pradesh in March, the BJP president is on a 110-day, country-wide tour – even though the next general election is two years away. His goal is to gain acceptance for BJP ideology and build a stronger ‘Brand Narendra Modi’ that helps party win new states and remain unconquerable at the centre.

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Bilkis Bano says Gujarat government never helped, husband seeks compensation

The husband of Bilkis Bano, a 2002 Gujarat riots victim, on Thursday has sought compensation from the state government. “We will wait for the government to pay us compensation before approaching the court,” her husband Yakub told reporters in Ahmedabad. “We have faced many difficulties during these fifteen years. We frequently changed houses, while also being worried about the education of our children. The Gujarat government has not given us any support, nor have we received support from any government official,” Bilkis said.

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Speech-impaired girl stranded at Delhi metro station reunited with mom

When the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at Okhla metro station spotted 17-year-old Sakshi (name changed) on Wednesday, she was crying. When they approached her, she was unable to explain, as she speech-impaired. The security personnel gave her a piece of paper, in which she wrote that her mother entered the train, the gate got closed and she got separated from her. The CISF, responsible for the security of Delhi Metro, then contacted her mother and handed over the girl.

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UK police watchdog probes ‘serious’ hacking of British journalists from hackers based in India

The UK’s Independent Police Complains Commission (IPCC) on Thursday confirmed it had launched an investigation into allegations that a unit of Scotland Yard obtained access to email accounts of journalists and environmental activists in the country through hackers based in India. The Yard’s National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU) was accused by a whistleblower – believed to be a serving or retired officer – of obtaining the services of computer hackers via counterparts in India.

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4 Muslim women punched in face in Islamophobic attacks in Australia

Four Muslim women in Australia were allegedly punched in the face by a 39-year-old journalism student from Paraguay. One of four Muslim women targeted in four successive and unprovoked Islamophobic attacks yesterday said she was randomly punched in the face as she walked through the city wearing her headphones. All four women were wearing hijab, and were allegedly punched in the face.

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US imposes sanctions against Pak-based backers of Lashkar-e-Taiba, al Qaeda

The United States on Thursday announced sanctions against three Pakistan-based individuals and an entity in an effort to disrupt their leadership and funding, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its front for charitable activities, Jamaat-ud-Dawah, as a part of its counter terrorism measures. Other outfits expected to be impacted by these measures are the Taliban, al Qaeda and the Islamic State-Khorasan.

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Wriddhiman Saha shines as Kings XI Punjab pip Mumbai Indians to stay in IPL hunt

Wriddhiman Saha’s unbeaten 55-ball 93 powered Kings XI Punjab to 230/3 against Mumbai Indians in an IPL - Indian Premier League 2017 encounter. In reply, MI could score 223/6 in 20 overs. With this win Kings XI keep their hopes of qualifying for the 2017 IPL playoffs alive.

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