The annual Amarnath Yatra faced another disruption on Thursday following closure of 270km long Jammu-Srinagar national highway due to heavy rains that triggered fresh landslides and mudslides in Ramban district, said officials. “The Jammu-Srinagar national highway 44 is blocked due to shooting stones at Mehar and Panthyal. A mudslide has also occurred at Cafeteria Morh in Ramban. It is raining heavily in Ramban and Banihal,” said a police officer.
The acting jathedar of the Akal Takht gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the Punjab government to release all Sikh men arrested during a police operation, and revoke the National Security Act (NSA) imposed on eight aides of Amritpal Singh, a pro-Khalistan preacher. If not, a diplomatic campaign will be initiated against the state's excesses on Sikhs. The Akal Takht declaration was welcomed by Sikh representatives, who announced a panel of lawyers to help those booked under NSA.
BJP MLA Madal Virupakshappa was arrested on Monday by Karnataka Lokayukta police after the High Court rejected his anticipatory bail application in a corruption case. Rs 8.23 crore in cash, gold and silver ornaments and land investments were allegedly uncovered in raids. Virupakshappa claimed the allegations were part of a conspiracy.
After being convicted in a criminal defamation case in Gujarat, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was asked by the Lok Sabha secretariat to vacate his official residence by April 22. Congress leaders said he will vacate the official bungalow earlier than the deadline, but if his conviction is stayed by a higher court, the party will ask him to retain the residence.
Members of the Banjara community pelted stones at former Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa's residence, demanding withdrawal of the internal reservation for SCs announced by the state government. The incident resulted in clashes with police and several injuries. CM Bommai accused the Congress of instigating the community and has imposed prohibitory orders to prevent further unrest.
The Hyderabad police's SIT probing the Telangana question paper leak has arrested 15 people so far, including one on Monday. The SIT is questioning 4 more suspects, as well as 60 candidates who scored 100+ marks in the Group-1 preliminary exam. The police are also grilling the 4 prime suspects for the second consecutive day.
The number of environment, forest, wildlife and coastal zone regulation clearances granted in India jumped 21 times in five years, from 577 in 2018 to 12,496 in 2022. The ministry has made policy and technological interventions to reduce the clearance process time and streamline it with environmental safeguards. The central government has launched Parivesh 2.0 to grant faster environmental clearances for infrastructure projects.
Rahul Gandhi's conviction in a criminal defamation case and possible jail term has triggered one of the biggest crises for India's oldest political party, the Congress. Post-independence, the party has been led by the Gandhi family and its support base has seen a gradual decline. Regional parties are pushing hard to make the Congress cede more ground and its bargaining power in alliance negotiations for the 2024 general elections is weak. Four key state elections before 2024 could be a turning point.
Bansuri Swaraj, newly inducted BJP leader and daughter of Sushma Swaraj, slammed Youth Congress president Srinivas BV after he called Union minister Smriti Irani a "daayan". Swaraj said the Congress cannot tolerate that Irani defeated Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla called the Congress a "cesspool of misogyny". Srinivas defended his remarks and said he did not say anything wrong.
Lt Gen Manoj Pandey stated that the Indian Army is firm and resolute in dealing with the PLA Army and is ready to deal with any contingency. He further said that the Sino-American rivalry has been driven by China's global aspirations and the relevance of hard power has been reaffirmed. Talks are continuing under the current engagement mechanisms to ensure stability along the LAC.
Congress leaders said Rahul Gandhi is not worried after being served a notice to vacate the government bungalow by April 22. The decision follows his disqualification as a Lok Sabha member after conviction in a defamation case. The BJP and Congress have targeted each other over the issue, with Congress leaders alleging the move is to "silence the voice that disagrees with them".
A massive manhunt is underway in Arunachal Pradesh's Tirap district after two prisoners, including a cadre of the Nikki-Sumi faction of NSCN(K), escaped on Sunday evening after killing a constable. The two have been identified and police are hopeful of arresting them soon with help of Assam Rifles. The constable received gunshot injuries while trying to stop them and died on the way to the hospital.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has informed the Central Government that the state will have 20 lakh metric tonne of surplus rice after meeting all its requirements. He has requested the Centre to intervene as the state lacks storage capacity to accommodate the surplus rice, which may lead to the loss of 1 lakh tonne of rice and Rs 320 crore for the exchequer.
Opposition parties led by Congress will stage protest wearing black clothes in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament premise. The decision was made at a dinner meet at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's residence. The protest is against Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as Lok Sabha MP and a joint parliamentary committe-level probe in the Adani-Hindenburg case. Shiv Sena skipped the meeting due to Rahul Gandhi's remark on Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar.
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Ranjit Savarkar, VD Savarkar's grandson, called Rahul Gandhi's "I'm not Savarkar" comments "childish" and challenged him to prove that Savarkar apologised to British authorities. BJP leaders protested against Gandhi and said he can never be Savarkar as it required strong determination and love for the country. Gandhi had claimed that Savarkar had helped the British during the independence struggle.