Letters@hindustantimes.com Varanasi: A Varanasi court on Thursday refused to stop the survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex and said the exercise must be completed by May 17, marking a crucial turn in the decades-old religious dispute over Hindu claims to the Muslim prayer site. It directed that Ajai Kumar Mishra and Vishal Singh will conduct the survey. It ordered that the district officials and police be authorised to break open any lock, if required.
Indians in London united against Khalistani violence, demanding action from the British government and London Mayor Sadiq Khan against those who disrespected the Indian flag.
NIA has filed its first charge sheet against 12 people linked to pro-Khalistan outfits and Pakistan-based conspirators in a terror-gangster nexus case. The case involves plans to eliminate certain leaders, singers and businessmen and involves 20 weapons, 527 rounds of ammunition, 195 digital devices and 281 documents. Links of the accused with the underworld, music industry and kabaddi players were also revealed.
The Supreme Court provided an opportunity for persons stuck with demonetised currency notes to pursue their request with the Central Government to deposit the notes. The Court noted that the power to grant such exemptions lies with the Centre, and those aggrieved by the Centre's order can approach the respective high courts.
The Supreme Court will decide on April 11 whether to refer petitions challenging the validity of the electoral bond scheme to a Constitution bench. The scheme, implemented in 2018, allows anonymous donations to political parties with 100% tax exemption, and was opposed by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) claiming it legitimises bribery. The EC has supported the scheme and had been filing sealed cover reports before the Court.
Twitterati is abuzz with the phrase "pols aa gayi pols" after Punjab Police launched a crackdown on radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh. Swiggy joined the meme bandwagon by tweeting a picture of pulses with the caption "Oye pulse aa gayi pulse". Hundreds of people have been arrested, while Amritpal remains on the run.
India recorded 699 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total tally to 4.46 crore (4,46,96,984). Active cases increased to 6,559 while the death toll rose to 5,30,808 with two deaths. The daily positivity rate was 0.71% and the weekly positivity rate was 0.91%. Over 92 crore tests have been conducted and 220.65 crore doses of vaccine administered.
1,89,945 cases of crimes against the Dalit community were registered in the last four years according to a National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report. The government also informed that four cases of attack on public representatives in the national Capital in the last two years have been reported and 16 persons have been arrested in these cases.
CBI said India's request to extradite Mehul Choksi continues to be under consideration of the Antigua and Barbuda authorities, despite Interpol removing its red notice against the fugitive diamantaire. A POCSO court in Madhya Pradesh has sentenced a 24-year old woman to 10 years in jail for sexually assaulting a minor boy. An old ad featuring Deepika Padukone doing some belly dancing with Purab Kohli has appeared online. Venkatesh Prasad's jibes over KL Rahul's form created a stir on social media, leading to an all-out bitter spat. A tweet depicting the 'employee life cycle' using pictures from Hrithik Roshan's movies has gone viral.
Kerala's budget session of the assembly ended abruptly on Tuesday as differences between the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) and opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) widened over last week's scuffle. Opposition demanded action against marshals and ruling party legislators, and the chief minister brought a resolution to end the session. Four bills were passed without discussion before the sine die adjournment. Opposition leader accused the government of booking injured MLAs under non-bailable provisions and perpetrators under minor charges. Ruling party members blamed the Opposition for disrupting the House.
The CBI on Tuesday blamed the Control of Interpol's Files for revoking the global arrest warrant against Mehul Choksi, wanted in the $2 billion Punjab National Bank fraud. The agency is exercising options in Interpol to restore the red notice, claiming Choksi is creating diversions from his extradition proceedings with false claims. It said the notice's removal does not affect the extradition process and it is committed to bringing fugitives back to India.
Arvind Kejriwal praised the Punjab government for taking tough steps to maintain law and order and credited the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government for displaying maturity and patience. He thanked the people of Punjab for standing with the government and declared that the AAP was willing to take the toughest steps in the national interest.
At least 50,155 personnel from India's six paramilitary forces have quit their jobs in the last five years, according to a report of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. Suggesting ways to reduce the attrition, the committee recommended conducting exit interviews to assess the factors leading to quitting and to address personnel concerns. The report also said that 654 personnel had committed suicide between 2018 and 2022. The MHA has set up a task force to identify risk factors and suggest remedial steps.
India objected to Pakistan using maps incorrectly depicting the country's borders at a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) military medicine specialists conference, resulting in Pakistan not attending. India had previously protested Pakistan's use of a "fictitious map" at a SCO meeting in 2020. India is set to host the SCO defence and foreign ministers' meetings in April and May respectively.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs approved the 2023-24 Budget for Delhi after the government addressed the LG's office's "administrative concerns". Tensions between the two power centres escalated with the arrest of former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, causing a delay in the Budget presentation. The MHA requested the GNCTD to resubmit the Budget addressing the concerns. Delhi assembly speaker called the delay unconstitutional and illegal, while CM Kejriwal blamed the Union government.
CBI said India's extradition request for fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi remains under active consideration of Antigua and Barbuda authorities, despite Interpol revoking its red notice against him. The agency said it will exercise available options within Interpol to get Choksi's red notice restored. PM Modi's government has come under fire from opposition for failing to bring Choksi back, and the removal of his name from Interpol list.