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Gujarat Cong alleges BJP bribed its MLAs, last date to file IT returns: Top stories to bring you up to date

From the spate of resignations in Gujarat Congress, deterioration in US-Russia relations to no extension of deadline for filing IT returns, here are the stories to catch up on this morning.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2017 07:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Russia,US,United States
People submitting their Income tax return form at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.(HT File Photo)

Congress parades 44 Gujarat MLAs, says BJP tried to bribe them ahead of Rajya Sabha polls

The Congress legislators from Gujarat staying at a resort outside Bengaluru are willing to return home if state chief minister Vijay Rupani promises their safety, party spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said on Sunday. The party shepherded 44 lawmakers on Friday night to the holiday retreat in Karnakata after a spate of resignation of its MLAs amid allegations that the ruling BJP in Gujarat were bribing and coercing them ahead of the August 8 vice-presidential election. “We have been threatened, offered money to defect and some have done so,” Gohil, the Congress MLA for Abdasa in the Kutch region, told reporters. Read the story here.

755 US diplomats must leave Russia, no improvement in ties with America any time soon: Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin said 755 US diplomats must leave Russia and warned ties with Washington could be gridlocked for a long time, in a move Sunday that followed tough new American sanctions. The Russian foreign ministry had earlier demanded Washington cut its diplomatic presence in Russia by September to 455 -- the same number Moscow has in the US. “More than a thousand people were working and are still working” at the US embassy and consulates, Putin said in an interview with Rossia-24 television. “755 people must stop their activities in Russia.” Read the story here.

Russia warns of further retaliation after US sanctions over poll ‘meddling’

The Kremlin’s decision to expel American diplomats was a “long overdue” retaliation to tough new sanctions passed by Washington, a top Russian official said on Sunday, vowing more payback may follow if the US does not change its approach. Speaking on ABC’s This Week show, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov called a sanctions package aimed at penalising Russia for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election “a completely weird and unacceptable piece of legislation” that was “the last drop.” US sanctions were also imposed in December last year. “If the US side decides to move further towards further deterioration we will answer, we will respond in kind. We will mirror this. We will retaliate,” he continued. Read the story here.

File income tax return by July 31, no plan to extend deadline: I-T department

The last date for filing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for the financial year 2016-17 will not be extended beyond the July 31 deadline, a top official said on Sunday. “The last date for filing of ITRs remains July 31. There are no plans to extend this deadline. The department has already received over 2 crore returns filed electronically. The department requests taxpayers to file their return in time,” the official said. On reports of the e-filing website facing some glitches, the official said that no major glitches have been reported with the department’s e-filing website — — barring a few times when the portal was “interrupted for maintenance”. Read the story here.

Gorkhaland: Violent clashes between police and GJM supporters

Darjeeling hills continued to be on the boil on Sunday following several rounds of clashes between police and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) activists spearheading the movement for separate Gorkhaland state. The epicentre of the clashes was Sukna, about 12 km from Siliguri, where clashes broke out on Saturday after police disallowed a GJM rally. On Sunday, GJM supporters, alleging police atrocities, took out rallies throughout the hills. GJM leaders like Durga Sharma had a toughtime pacifying Morcha activists at Sukna, which at times virtually turned into a battlefield in different phases throughout Sunday. Read the story here.

Coast Guard makes record 1,500 kg heroin bust after surveillance system spots ship 380km off Gujarat coast

The Coast Guard seized 1,500kg of heroin from a merchant ship off the Gujarat shoreline on Saturday, which could be the biggest single haul of narcotics in India. The contraband is estimated to be around Rs 4,500 crore in the international market. The vessel was spotted around 380km off Dwarka through surveillance mounted by the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), a government intelligence-gathering agency. “The NTRO shared the intelligence about the suspect vessel on July 27 and the Coast Guard was notified. Intelligence suggested the crew was negotiating the mode of payment for the contraband and its intended destination,” said an official who didn’t wish to be named. Read the story here.

11 die after being struck by lightning in Odisha; toll due to floods, rains rises across India

Eleven people were killed as lightning struck them in Odisha on Sunday while landslides and floods triggered by heavy rains continued to wreak havoc in many parts of the country killing several people. In Odisha, the flood toll rose to seven with the death of three more persons in Jajpur district while lightning strikes in Bhadrak, Balasore and Kendrapara districts claimed the lives of 11 people and left around eight injured. According to an official, while five died in Bhadrak, three each were killed in Balasore and in Kendrapara districts. The flood-like situation in the southwestern districts of Rajasthan has started to improve as the water showed receding trend, even as the death toll touched 17 since July 22. Read the story here.

US flies bombers, tests missile defence after N Korea’s ICBM test

Amid rising tensions over North Korea’s continued testing of missiles and the Chinese failure to rein it in, the United States flew bombers over the Korean peninsula on Sunday and followed it up with successfully testing its missile defence system. After condemning North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, President Donald Trump zeroed in on Beijing saying, in a series of tweets, he was “very disappointed” in China for its failure to match its assurances with action. Its been “just talk”, he fumed. Hours later, two supersonic B-1 bombers of the US air force flew low over the Korean peninsula escorted by fighters piloted by South Koreans. Read the story here.

Delhi, Chandigarh among 29 cities and towns highly vulnerable to quakes

Twenty-nine Indian cities and towns, including Delhi and capitals of nine states, fall under “severe” to “very severe” seismic zones, according to the National Centre for Seismology (NCS). Delhi, Patna (Bihar), Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir), Kohima (Nagaland), Puducherry, Guwahati (Assam), Gangtok (Sikkim), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Imphal (Manipur) and Chandigarh fall under seismic zones IV and V. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has classified different regions in the country into zones II to V, taking into consideration earthquake records, tectonic activities and damage caused. Read the story here.

Ben Stokes’ burst leaves South Africa facing defeat at The Oval

England ripped apart South Africa’s top order in Sunday’s final session at the Oval to bear down on a victory that would put them 2-1 up with one to play in the four-Test series. Two wickets from successive balls in Ben Stokes’ third over removed Quinton de Kock (5) and Faf du Plessis (0) and ended faint South Africa hopes of mounting a rearguard action in pursuit of their target of 492.

Although Stokes failed to record what would have been the first-ever test hat-trick at the Oval, the damage was done. Du Plessis’ wicket, lbw without playing a shot to a first-ball inswinger, was a particular blow, with South Africa needing their captain to survive at least into Monday. Read the story here.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 07:18 IST