Union minister Anurag Thakur on Friday asked why Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was not participating in the ongoing 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' and alleged that Rahul Gandhi was doing the padyatra with the so-called "tukde-tukde" gang. Addressing a press conference in Himachal Pradesh's Hamirpur, he exuded confidence that the BJP would return to power because of the "good work done by the double-engine government in the last five years."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sent his greetings to the people of Odisha on the state's foundation day, celebrated as 'Utkala Dibasa.' The eastern state was created on a linguistic basis on this day in 1936. Modi tweeted, ?Best wishes on Utkala Dibasa. This is a day to acknowledge the rich role of Odisha, Odia people and culture in the progress of our nation."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the Combined Commanders Conference at Bhopal today, where the military will discuss future wars, the Agniveer scheme, and the impact of social media on the Indian military. Modi will emphasise the "Make in India" concept to encourage the indigenisation of hardware, but he is also expected to draw attention to the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape brought about by China's military-economic rise. Both China and Pakistan continue to pose challenges to India, with no positive change on the borders.
India's daily coronavirus cases have dipped slightly, with 2,995 cases reported in the last 24 hours, taking the active caseload over the 16,000-mark. The number of people who have recovered from the disease has risen to over 44 million, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.19%. Dr Arvind Kumar, chairman of the Institute of Chest Surgery at Medanta Hospital, advised people to wear masks and get a Covid test done in case of symptoms, adding that the new variant is not affecting patients' lungs as much as during the second wave.
A 62-year-old Swedish national has been arrested by Mumbai Police for allegedly molesting a 24-year-old cabin crew on an Indigo Airlines flight between Bangkok and Mumbai. Klas Erik Harald Jonas Westberg, who was drunk, is also accused of assaulting a co-passenger and causing chaos in mid-air. He allegedly held the air hostess's hand inappropriately as she sought to process his payment for a chicken dish. Westberg has been granted bail by the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate Court. It is the eighth arrest of an unruly flyer in India in the past three months.
A man from Kolkata suffered from a potentially fatal fungal infection caused by plants, according to a report in the journal Medical Mycology Case Reports. The 61-year-old, a plant mycologist, had no history of chronic disease or immunosuppressive drug use, but had been working with decaying material, mushrooms and various plant fungi for a long time. The man was diagnosed with Chondrostereum purpureum, a plant fungus that causes silver leaf disease in plants, but this is the first known case of the fungus causing disease in a human. The patient recovered after a course of antifungal medication.
The Indian government has cut the price of commercial LPG cylinders by INR92 ($1.24) on the first day of fiscal year 2024. However, the price of domestic LPG gas cylinders remains unchanged. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has criticised the ruling BJP?s ?Hindu Rashtra? ideology, which he claims has led to the rise of the Khalistan movement and separatists like Amritpal Singh in Punjab.
Ahead of Arvind Kejriwal's first political rally in Assam on April 2, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday dared his Delhi counterpart to speak against him that "Himanta Biswa Sarma is corrupt". Sarma clarified that there is no case against him in any part of the country. The Assam chief minister's warning comes on a day when the Gujarat high court fined Kejriwal ₹25,000 for asking Gujarat University to reveal details of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's education degree.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has criticised the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s “Hindu Rashtra” ideology, which he claims has led to the rise of the Khalistan movement and separatists like Amritpal Singh in Punjab. Gehlot blamed the BJP and RSS for the popularity of the radical preacher, who has been on the run since 18 March. Singh has released two video messages and one audio message from hiding.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Bhopal-Delhi Vande Bharat Express on 1 April, according to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Modi is also set to attend the Combined Commanders' Conference on the same day. The train will be the 11th Vande Bharat Express and will cover the 708 km distance between the two cities in around seven hours and 45 minutes. It will run from Bhopal's Rani Kamlapati station to Hazrat Nizamuddin station, with stops at Veerangana Laxmibai Jhansi and Gwalior stations, according to Livemint.
Communal violence broke out in Howrah, West Bengal, during Ram Navami celebrations, with the Trinamool Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) exchanging blame. The West Bengal government has handed over the probe to Criminal Investigation Department (CID), while prohibitory orders have been imposed in several areas of Howrah. Internet services were also suspended in some areas of Howrah, with telecom, internet and cable service providers issued notices to restrict provocative messages and videos. Union minister Smriti Irani accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee of protecting those who pelted it with stones.
The chief minister of Tamil Nadu has promised legal action against those found guilty of sexual harassment at the Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts, run by Kalakshetra Foundation. The students had been protesting for two days against alleged harassment by four faculty members, and the Tamil Nadu Women's Commission chairperson said it had received nearly 100 complaints of harassment and mental abuse. Kalakshetra had previously announced the closure of the college until 6 April and directed students to vacate hostels within two days.
The state government of Kerala in India has opposed a proposal to raise the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. The state's women and child development department sent a letter to the National Commission for Women opposing the bill, which had been proposed in parliament in 2021. The Kerala government argued that women are eligible to vote at 18 so they should also be allowed to marry. The proposed bill seeks to bring uniformity in the marriageable age of men and women, with the age for men currently set at 21.
The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh has caused unrest among the Adivasis in the state by proposing to include Boya, Valmiki, and Bentu Oriya communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes. The tribal groups under the auspices of the Adivasi Joint Action Committee blocked vehicles and ambulances in these areas. They held up traffic for several hours, paralysing the public transport into the interior areas of these districts.
India's Supreme Court has ruled that trials involving special laws with stringent bail provisions must be concluded speedily, and courts must be sensitive to the deleterious effects of incarceration on undertrials. The court made the ruling in an appeal for bail filed by an accused under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act who was behind bars for the past seven years while the trial proceeded at a slow pace. The accused was granted bail, with the court stating that if trials are not concluded in time, the injustice inflicted on the individual is immeasurable.
At least 36 people have died and 18 others injured after a stepwell collapsed at Beleshwar Mahadev Jhulelal temple in Madhya Pradesh, India during Ram Navami celebrations. The dead included 20 women, 12 men and four children. Questions were raised over the efficiency of rescue operations after a video emerged of a woman being pulled out by a man through a makeshift ladder but falling off it. The chairman and secretary of the temple trust have been charged with culpable homicide.