National News SahilOnline, Leading news portal from Coastal Karnataka, bringing you latest updates from the Coast, State, Nation and the World, in Kannada, Urdu and English. National News Cyclone Gulab to make landfall today, Met department issues alert for Andhra, Odisha An orange alert has been issued in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh ahead of cyclone 'Gulab', which is approaching the coastal states from the Bay of Bengal and is expected to make landfall on Sunday evening according to the India Meteorological Department. 28,326 new Covid infections recorded in India, taking total tally of cases to 3,36,52,745: Govt India saw a single-day rise of 28,326 new coronavirus infections, taking the country''s total tally of cases to 3,36,52,745, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. Form third front to safeguard country's interests, says OP Chautala Former Haryana Chief Minister and Indian National Lok Dal supremo Om Prakash Chautala on Saturday voiced the need for a third front to safeguard the interests of the country. "It is my father Chaudhary Devi Lal ji's birth anniversary today. On this day, I want to remind all that our country is primarily run by the farmers of the country. If the farmers of a country are happy, it is the richest asset a country can have. Such is not the scenario now. As of now, the Centre is busy looting the money of the general public," he said while slamming the Centre. AIKS demands Assam CM's resignation over Darrang firing incident Condemning the Darrang firing incident in Assam, the All India Kisan Sabha on Saturday demanded the resignation of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. A press meet was addressed here today by AIKS General Secretary Hannan Mollah, President Dr Ashok Dhawale, Joint Secretaries NK Shukla and Vijoo Krishnan and Finance Secretary P Krishnaprasad in this regard. The official statement issued by the party read, "AIKS demands dismissal of the authorities responsible for the killing and resignation of the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma holding Home Affairs portfolio who is directly responsible for encouraging such action. AIKS demands Judicial enquiry by a sitting Judge of the High Court into the incidents." CoWin vaccination certificates to have full date of birth for international travellers: NHA CEO People who have taken both doses of Covid-19 vaccines and want to travel abroad will have a CoWin vaccination certificate with their full date of birth, as per Dr. RS Sharma, the CEO of National Health Authority (NHA). Ensure that no one is left out of vaccination's circle of safety: PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat address Ahead of the festival season, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged people to keep following Covid protocol and ensure that no one is left out of vaccination's "circle of safety". In his monthly 'Mann Ki Baat' radio address, Modi said the festival season is approaching and when the whole country will celebrate 'Maryada Purshottam' Shri Ram's victory over evil, people should remember the fight against Covid also. Congress cannot grow under leadership of Rahul Gandhi, says Ramdas Athawale Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said that Sonia Gandhi should have become the prime minister when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) had first come to power in the year 2004 and that the Congress party under Rahul Gandhi cannot grow. Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Athawale said: "When Sonia Gandhi was elected to the Lok Sabha, I had proposed to the UPA that she should be made the prime minister. When Congress was in majority, she was the capable candidate to come to power. But now, the party cannot grow under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi," he added. PM Modi to bring back 157 antiquities handed over by US  Prime Minister Narendra Modi will bring home 157 artefacts and antiquities, which were handed over to India by the US during his visit, with both he and President Joe Biden expressing commitment to strengthening efforts to combat theft, illicit trade and trafficking of cultural objects. While nearly half of the artefacts (71) are cultural, the other half consists of figurines related to Hinduism (60), Buddhism (16) and Jainism (9), an official statement said on Saturday. Courts must take suo motu cognisance of Assam 'brutality': Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal Courts must take suo motu cognisance of the 'brutality' in Assam, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Saturday in the backdrop of clashes between police and alleged encroachers resulting in the death of two persons and injuries to 20. When 'poison of hatred' is being spread, then what is 'Amrit Mahotsav': Rahul Gandhi Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said freedom does not mean anything when it is not for everyone and asked what 'Amrit Mahotsav' meant when the "poison of hatred" is being spread in the country. His remarks come in the wake of clashes between police and alleged encroachers during an eviction drive in Assam's Darrang district on Thursday that left two persons dead and 20 injured. A shocking video showing a man slinging a camera and hitting an apparently dead person with a bullet wound on his chest also surfaced after the incident. Congress questions Home Minister Amit Shah's silence over Delhi courtroom firing, Assam incident The Congress on Saturday questioned the silence of Home Minister Amit Shah on the open shootout inside a courtroom in the national capital and also the Assam firing incident. Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh also asked whether Shah does not have the time to resolve the issue in Assam. "The country's law and order situation is worsening, with firing taking place inside a courtroom in the national capital, killing people. There are 10-20 rounds of firing inside a courtroom and where is the home minister. Where is his statement," he asked. Centre did not let me to go to Rome global peace meet out of 'jealousy': Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the Centre had disallowed her attendance at a global peace meet in Rome, where she was the only invitee from the country, "out of jealousy". Dead cow dragged on street in Madhya Pradesh's Agar Malwa; two civic workers sacked A dead cow was allegedly tied to a tractor-trolley and dragged on the road as it was being taken away for disposal in Madhya Pradesh's Agar Malwa district, prompting the civic administration to sack two of its workers, an official said on Saturday. Cong backs Bharat Bandh called by agitating farmer unions   The Congress on Saturday extended support to the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer unions against the Centre's three agri laws and demanded that discussions be initiated with the protesters. Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said the Congress party and all its workers will support the "peaceful Bharat Bandh on September 27, called by farmer unions and farmers". India on path of recovery from challenging times of pandemic: Goyal  India has faced challenging times during the pandemic but is now on the path of recovery and rapid growth, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday. Rohini shootout: Pleas in SC, HC seek immediate measures for safety in subordinate courts An application has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre and the states to take immediate steps for security in subordinate courts in wake of the shootout inside a district court in Delhi on Friday that left three gangsters dead and a law intern injured. It said that gangsters and hardcore criminals may be produced from jails through video-conferencing before the trial court instead of producing them physically. Coir Board proposes series of steps to develop coir industry in Konkan region The MSME ministry on Saturday said Coir Board has proposed to take series of measures, such as creating awareness about different schemes of the government and identification of exporters to boost outbound shipments of the products, with an aim to develop the industry in Konkan region. An action plan target has been fixed for 2021-22 for providing skill training to potential beneficiaries and thereby developing coir industry in the zone, it said in a statement. Centre to soon announce new cooperative policy: Amit Shah  Asserting that cooperatives will also play a crucial role in making India a USD 5 trillion economy, Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Centre will soon come out with a new cooperative policy and work in tandem with states to strengthen the cooperative movement. Shah, who is also the Union Home Minister, also announced that the number of primary agriculture cooperative societies (PACs) will be increased to 3 lakh in the next five years. At present, there are about active 65,000 PACs. AAP extends support to farmers call for Bharat Bandh The Aam Aadmi Party strongly supports the call for a Bharat Bandh issued by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha on September 27, party leader Raghav Chadha said on Saturday. Attack on gangster at Rohini court seems to be planned: Police Commissioner Delhi Police on Friday shot dead the two attackers of gangster Jitender Mann, said Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana adding that the two men seem to have carried out the attack with advanced planning and the case has been transferred to the Crime Branch. No more custody of pachyderms in private custody: HC In a significant order, the Madras High Court on Friday ruled that no more elephants can be captured and put under custody, both by the government and private persons. Railways working to boost tourism in NE: Jardosh The Ministry of Railways is working on projects to boost the tourism sector in Assam and also play its role as an important supply line for the state as well as the entire northeast region, Union minister Darshana Jardosh said here on Friday. Govt releases digital airspace map for drone operations The government on Friday released an interactive digital airspace map for drone operations that demarcates areas into zones, including yellow and red, across the country for flying drones. Kerala Health Department bags national awards Amid high number of COVID-19 cases in Kerala, the Health Department of the State bagged three national awards. 20 students of Jamia RCA crack UPSC exam Twenty students who studied at Jamia Millia Islamia's Residential Coaching Academy (RCA) have cracked the civil services examination, according to a statement issued by the university on Friday. Civil service: CM's pat for successful candidates Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday congratulated the candidates from the State, who cleared the civil services examination-2020. Sonowal lays foundation stone of truck parking terminal at New Mangalore Port; inaugurates centre Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of three projects at New Mangalore Port in Karnataka, according to an official statement. 10 additional judges of Karnataka HC, 2 of Kerala HC elevated as permanent judges Ten additional judges of the Karnataka High Court and two from the Kerala High Court were elevated as permanent judges on Thursday, the law ministry said. Rahul targets PM Modi over eastern Ladakh standoff Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that he is "scared" of China. "Mr 56-inch is scared of China," he said on Twitter, putting out a short video clip detailing the events at the border with China. The video, titled 'chronology samajhiye' (understand the chronology), is a compilation of news reports on the Sino-India military standoff that erupted in eastern Ladakh on May 5 last year. Maharashtra govt to reduce working hours of women cops from 12 hrs to 8 hrs The Maharashtra government has decided to reduce the working hours of women police personnel from 12 hours to eight hours, said Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Pandey on Friday. The DGP told ANI, "We have implemented eight hours shift for all the women pol Manufacturers will be mandated to power vehicles with flex engines: Nitin Gadkari Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that the manufacturers will be mandated to power vehicles with flex engines that can run on more than one fuel, in the upcoming three to four months. Addressing the people during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the flyover from Rajaram Bridge in Pune, Gadkari said, "In the next three to four months, I will be issuing an order, mandating all vehicle manufacturers to power vehicles with flex engines." Shubham Kumar tops civil services exam 2020: UPSC  Shubham Kumar has topped the prestigious civil services examination 2020, results of which were declared by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Friday. Jagrati Awasthi and Ankita Jain have got second and third ranks respectively. Farm laws: Rakesh Tikait urges Indians in US to protest during PM Modi's September 25 event Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Friday appealed to Indians living in the US to hold a protest during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's programme in New York on Saturday in support of the 10-month-long farmers' agitation at Delhi's borders. He also urged US President Joe Biden to focus on concerns of the Indian farmers during his meeting with Modi. Seeking the support of Indians in the US, the national spokesperson of the BKU claimed that over 750 farmers have lost their lives during the stir against the contentious new farm laws, but the Centre is still not willing to reconsider the legislations. Modi reached the US on Wednesday on an official three-day visit for meetings with Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris, among others. He is scheduled to address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on Saturday. CBI to probe death of Mahant Narendra Giri  The Centre has given its approval for a CBI probe into the death of Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri in Allahabad, officials said on Friday. The seer, who was the president of the largest organisation of sadhus in India, was found hanging by his disciples at the Baghambari Mutt in Allahabad on Monday. PM Modi to address Global Citizen Live event on Saturday  Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver a video address at "Global Citizen Live" on Saturday evening, his office has said. The Prime Minister's Office noted that Global Citizen is a advocacy organisation that is working to end extreme poverty. It will be a 24-hour event and held across Saturday and Sunday, and will involve live events in major cities including Mumbai, New York, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, Sydney, Los Angeles, Lagos and Seoul, the PMO said, adding that the event will be broadcast in 120 countries and over multiple social media channels. Schools to reopen in entire Maharashtra from October 4 Schools would reopen across Maharashtra from October 4, the state government said on Friday. All the schools in rural areas will resume physical classes for standards 5th to 12th," said school education minister Varsha Gaikwad. Physical classes for standards 8th to 12th would resume everywhere in urban areas, she added. Centre disempowering people of Kashmir: Mehbooba  PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the Centre was disempowering the people of Jammu and Kashmir and suspecting them for having alleged links with militants is the new excuse used to dispossess and humiliate Kashmiris. She was reacting to the recent termination of six government employees on charges of alleged anti-national activities. Shiv Sena hits out at Centre over OBC quota issue  A day after the Union government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that the census of Backward Classes was "administratively difficult and cumbersome", the Shiv Sena on Friday asked that if the Centre has now taken this stand, then why was the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government maligned over the issue of OBC reservation all this while. In an editorial published in its mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Sena thanked Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for signing the ordinance that seeks to restore the OBC quota ahead of some bye-elections and local governing body polls in the state. 3 dead in shootout at Delhi's Rohini court Three people including gangster Jitendra Gogi died in a firing incident Friday at Delhi's Rohini court, police said. BJP, Nishad Party to fight UP elections together The BJP and the Nishad Party will contest the upcoming assembly polls together in Uttar Pradesh and will work towards forming the next government in the state, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday. Pradhan, who is BJP's in-charge of Uttar Pradesh polls, made a formal announcement of the alliance at a press conference here in the presence of Nishad Party, or Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal, chief Sanjay Nishad. We will have an alliance with the Nishad Party. We (BJP-Nishad Party) will fight the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections together with strength, and today the leaders of both the parties are making a formal announcement about it, Pradhan said. Diesel price hiked, no change in petrol rate  Diesel price on Friday was hiked by 20 paise per litre - the first increase in rates in over two months - as international oil prices neared their highest since 2018. Price of diesel was hiked to Rs 88.82 per litre in Delhi and to Rs 96.41 in Mumbai, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. Petrol price was not changed. It costs Rs 101.19 a litre in Delhi and Rs 107.26 in Mumbai. Landslides in Kinnaur, Shimla following heavy rains Heavy rain has triggered landslides in Kinnaur and Shimla districts of Himachal Pradesh, a senior disaster management official said on Friday. State Disaster Management Director, Sudesh Kumar Mokhta, said the national highway from Puwari to Kaza in Kinnaur district has been blocked after a landslide on Thursday evening. Active COVID-19 cases in country lowest in 188 days  India logged 31,382 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,35,94,803, while the active cases declined to 3,00,162, the lowest in 188 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. The death toll climbed to 4,46,368 with 318 fresh fatalities, according to the data updated at 8 am. The active cases comprise 0.89 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 97.78 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the ministry said. CAG Murmu becomes external auditor of IAEA  India's Comptroller and Auditor General G C Murmu was on Friday selected as the external auditor of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a prestigious institution that promotes peaceful use of nuclear energy. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said his candidature received majority support of the IAEA general conference and his tenure will be for six years, from 2022 to 2027. "Today, India's Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has been selected as the next external auditor of the International Atomic Energy Agency for a six-year term at the General Conference of the IAEA in Vienna," the MEA said. BJP returning to communal politics ahead of polls with its development claims exposed, says Mayawati BSP president Mayawati on Thursday alleged the BJP has returned to its narrow communal agenda ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections with its tall claims on development getting exposed. PM Modi to announce nationwide rollout of Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission on September 27 Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be announcing the nationwide rollout of Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission (PM-DHM) on September 27, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed on Thursday. Congress welcomes setting up of technical expert committee on Pegasus, but seeks SC-monitored probe The Congress Thursday said the Supreme Court's oral directive to set up a technical expert committee to inquire into the Pegasus snooping row is a step in the right direction, but asserted a "full investigation" monitored by the apex court is the "simple solution". COVID-19: Health Ministry makes arrangements for 'vaccination at home' for people with special needs The Union Health Ministry has made arrangements for vaccination at home for those who have special needs or are differently-abled, said the ministry on Thursday. Provide free cancer treatment to Bhopal gas tragedy victims: HC tells MP government The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to provide free treatment to Bhopal gas tragedy victims suffering from cancer at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhopal. SC expresses happiness over govt's decision on Rs 50,000 ex-gratia for COVID-19 deaths The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed happiness with the Central government's decision to provide Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia to families of those who died of COVID-19, saying it will bring some solace to the persons who have suffered. India, UK hold talks on vaccine certification process: British envoy British High Commissioner Alex Ellis on Thursday said India and the UK held "excellent" technical discussion on the issue of vaccine certification. Referring to new British travel rules, Ellis had on Wednesday said there was no problem with Covishield vaccine and that the main issue is COVID-19 vaccine certification done through the CoWIN app. Assam: Two killed, ten injured in firing during protests against eviction Two persons were killed and at least ten others, most of them policemen, were seriously injured on Thursday after the force opened fire on protestors demanding rehabilitation of 800 families evicted by Assam's Darrang district administration, police said. The evicted families had launched a protest at Sipajhar demanding that the eviction be stopped and that they be provided with a comprehensive rehabilitation package. Trouble broke out when a mob of protestors, who were armed with sharp weapons, started pelting stones and attacking policemen and general people present at the spot, Darrang Superintendent of Police Sushanta Biswa Sarma said. Bhabanipur bypoll case: HC allows EC to file affidavit The Calcutta High Court on Thursday allowed the Election Commission (EC) to file an affidavit regarding the contents of the notification issued by it for the Bhabanipur bypoll. The court was hearing public interest litigation that urged it to step into the poll process in the constituency, as the EC allegedly mentioned that a constitutional crisis would arise if the by-election to Bhabanipur was not held, which the petitioner claimed the poll body cannot. The advocate representing the EC sought a short adjournment to file an affidavit regarding the contents of two paragraphs of the notification issued for the election, in view of the arguments raised by Bikash Bhattacharya, the senior counsel for the petitioner. RS bypoll: Maharashtra Congress leaders urge Fadnavis to withdraw BJP candidate Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole and state Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat met Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday to urge the opposition BJP to withdraw its candidate and ensure the Congress nominee gets elected unopposed in the next month's bpoll to a Rajya Sabha seat from the state. The by-election was necessitated due to the death of sitting Congress MP Rajiv Satav in May this year. The Congress, which shares power with the Shiv Sena and NCP in Maharashtra, has fielded Rajni Patil, while the BJP has nominated Sanjay Upadhyay for the bypoll, to be held on October 4,. India is at decisive point in regaining its economic growth: Vice President Naidu   India is now at a decisive point in regaining its economic growth, said Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday while virtually addressing a summit. Addressing 'Mystic South - Global Linkages Summit' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Vice President Naidu said, "India is now at a decisive point in regaining its economic growth. Now is the time for all the stakeholders to join hands and ensure sustained momentum. The industry should work with the government on various reforms that need to be implemented with greater vigour." Air pollution one of the biggest environmental threats to human health: WHO Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to human health alongside climate change, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday as it released its new air quality guidelines for the first time since its last global update in 2005. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said its new air quality guidelines (AQGs) aim to save millions of lives from air pollution. "New World Health Organisation Global Air Quality Guidelines provide clear evidence of the damage air pollution inflicts on human health, at even lower concentrations than previously understood," it said in a statement. PM CARES Fund does not go in the Consolidated Fund of India: Centre tells Delhi HC NEW DELHI: The PM CARES Fund is not a Government of India fund and the amount collected by it does not go to the Consolidated Fund of India, the Delhi High Court has been informed. An affidavit filed by an Under Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) who is discharging his functions in the PM Cares Trust on honorary basis, has said the trust functions with transparency and its funds are audited by an auditor -- a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The affidavit was filed in response to a petition seeking a direction to declare the PM CARES Fund a 'State' under the Constitution to ensure transparency in its functioning. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Amit Bansal has fixed the matter for further hearing on September 27. "To ensure transparency, the audited report is put on the official website of the trust along with the details of utilisation of funds received by the trust," says the affidavit filed by Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, Under Secretary at the PMO. "I state that when the petitioner is claiming to be a public-spirited person and seeking to pray for various reliefs only for transparency, it does not matter whether PM Cares is a 'State' within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India," the officer said in the affidavit. Irrespective of whether the trust is a 'State' or other authority within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution or whether it is a 'public authority' within the meaning of provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI), it is not permissible to disclose third party information, . It said that all donations received by the trust are received via online payments, cheques or Demand Drafts and the amount received is audited with the audited report and the expenditure of trust fund displayed on the website. "The trust functions on the principles of transparency and public good in larger public interest like any other charitable trust and, therefore, cannot have any objection in uploading all its resolutions on its website to ensure transparency," it said, while reiterating that "the trust's fund is not a fund of Government of India and the amount does not go in the Consolidated Fund of India." The officer said he is discharging his functions in the PM Cares Trust on honorary basis which is a charitable trust not created by or under the Constitution or by any law made by the Parliament or by any State legislature. "Despite being an officer of the Central government, I am permitted to discharge my functions in PM Care Trust on an honorary basis," he said. The court was hearing a petition filed by Samyak Gangwal who has said that the PM CARES Fund is a 'State' as it was formed by the Prime Minister on March 27, 2020 to extend assistance to the citizens of India in the wake of the public health emergency -- the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. His counsel had told the court that if it is found that the PM CARES Fund is not 'State' under the Constitution, usage of the domain name 'gov', the Prime Minister's photograph, state emblem etc has to be stopped. The petition said that the Trustees of the fund are the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Home Minister and the Finance Minister and immediately after the formation of the fund, the Centre through its high government functionaries represented that the fund was set up and operated by the Government of India. To ensure transparency and accountability, the plea has sought a direction for periodic auditing of PM CARES website and disclosure of the details of donations received by it. In his alterative prayers, Gangwal has sought to direct the Centre to publicise that the PM CARES Fund is not a fund of the Government of India and to restrain PM CARES from using 'Prime Minister of India' or 'Prime Minister', including its abbreviations its name, on its website, Trust Deed and other official or unofficial communications and advertisements. On March 9, the court had said it was not inclined to issue notice on the plea as the Centre was already represented through counsel who may file their written submissions. The petitioner has also filed another petition to declare PM CARES as a 'public authority' under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which is being heard together with the first plea. This petition challenges a June 2, 2020 order of the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), PMO, refusing to provide documents sought by him on the ground that PM Cares Fund is not a public authority under the RTI Act. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented PMO, had opposed the petition, stating that it was not maintainable and that he would file a response explaining why it should not be entertained. Petrol prices not coming down as states don't want it under GST: Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Petrol prices in the country are not coming down as the states do not want to bring fuel under the ambit of the GST, Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. In an interview to PTI here, Puri said petrol prices crossed the Rs 100-mark in West Bengal as the TMC government is levying heavy taxes. "If your question is do you want the petrol prices to come down then the answer is yes. Now, if your question is why the petrol prices are not coming down, then the answer is because the states don't want to bring it under GST," he said. Farmers' protest against three agri laws completes 300 days As the ongoing farmers' protest against three contentious agriculture laws of the Centre completed 300 days on Wednesday, the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) said the movement is a testimony to the will and determination of lakhs of farmers across the country that would only grow stronger. Contesting from Bhabanipur is my destiny, BJP bringing in outsiders to create disturbances: Mamata Banerjee West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said contesting from Bhabanipur is her destiny and slammed BJP for bringing in outsiders to the state to create disturbances during the September 30 by-poll in the seat. Banerjee said her victory in the by-poll is necessary for her to continue as chief minister as it is only she who will fight against CAA, NRC, demonetisation and anti-people policies of the BJP. India to target children for Covid-19 vaccine from October All Indian children aged 12 or older will become eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations from next month, when drug maker Cadila Healthcare launches its ZyCoV-D product, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The world's first DNA-based Covid-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D won emergency authorisation from Indian regulators last month. From October, the company, better known as Zydus Cadila, will produce 10 million doses a month. Bengal: Six migrant labourers, returning to work, killed as bus falls in ditch Six migrant workers were killed as their bus fell into a ditch in West Bengal's North Dinajpur district, police said on Thursday. The incident happened around 10 pm on Wednesday when the chartered bus, carrying around 20 migrant labourers from different districts of West Bengal and Jharkhand, was heading to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, they said. The bus fell into a ditch along the National Highway-34 at Rupahar in Raiganj police station area, they added. Militant killed in encounter with security forces in Shopian in J&K A militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, officials said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Kashwa village in Zainapora area of the district following information about presence of militants there, the officials said. Owaisi calls himself 'abba' of weaker sections in UP Reacting to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's 'abba jaan' and BKU leader Rakesh Tikait's 'chacha jaan' remarks, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi termed himself as the 'abba' (father) of the poor and weaker sections of the state. "People are calling me 'Chacha Jaan'. I am father to those who are poor, weak and facing oppression in Uttar Pradesh. I am brother to those who are sufferers and oppressed women. If supporting weak makes me 'abba', then I'm their 'abba' as well," he said while addressing the public in Sambhal on Wednesday. Taking a jibe at Adityanath, he had earlier termed the remarks as 'dog Assam: 57 poachers of Raimona National Park surrender 57 poachers of the Raimona National Park surrendered to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) of Assam on Wednesday. The poachers, who surrendered on the occasion of World Rhino Day, were presented with a cheque of Rs 50,000 each to help sustain livelihood. "57 poachers surrendered along with arms in a village near Raimona National Park. They were given cheques of Rs 50,000 each. More financial support is to be given. We urge others to surrender," Pramod Boro, Chief Executive Member of BTC, Assam informed. India adds 31,923 new COVID-19 infections, active cases lowest in 187 days India reported 31,923 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday. Out of these, Kerala reported 19,675 new infections yesterday. India's cumulative tally has reached 3,35,63,421, and the number of active cases has declined to 3,01,604, which is the lowest in 187 days. Gujarat: 5 killed as car rams into truck in Morbi  Five people were killed after their car rammed into a stationary truck in Gujarat's Morbi district in the wee hours of Thursday, police said. Delhi riots: Hearing in Umar Khalid's bail plea adjourned to October 9 A Delhi court on Thursday adjourned to October 9 hearing on the bail plea of former JNU student leader Umar Khalid in the 2020 Delhi riots conspiracy case.  The hearing was adjourned to next month as Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat is on leave. This was informed to Khalid's counsels by the court staff through video conference.    Khalid along with several others has been booked under the anti-terror law in the case. They are accused of being the "masterminds" of the February 2020 violence, which had left 53 people dead and over 700 injured. Maha CM doing good work: BJP MLA  Maharashtra BJP MLA Manda Mhatre has praised Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying he is "doing good work" in the state. The legislator from the opposition party in the state also told reporters in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday that whenever anyone, including from the opposition, approaches Thackeray for any work, he gives a patient hearing and useful advice. Pegasus snooping row: SC to pronounce order on pleas seeking independent probe next week The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will pronounce its interim order next week on a batch of pleas seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping matter. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said the order, which was to be pronounced earlier, will now be delivered next week. PM Modi arrives in US to attend Quad leaders'' summit, address UNGA Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Wednesday on an official visit to the US during which he will hold the first face-to-face meeting with President Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris, attend the maiden in-person Quad summit and address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. FIR against BJP worker for `molesting' woman colleague  A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against a BJP worker here on Wednesday for allegedly molesting a colleague, police said. According to the complainant, the incident took place last year when she was trying to join the party. India committed to clean energy-based economy: Gadkari  Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said India is committed to an eminently achievable clean energy-based economy, and added that the country will soon have a policy for flex-fuel engines. The road transport and highways minister further said India is shifting its public transport fleet to green fuels like bio-CNG, ethanol, methanol, electricity and green hydrogen, which will also provide citizens some respite from surging petrol prices. Issue with vaccine certification and not Covishield: UK officials Indian travellers vaccinated with two doses of Covishield will still have to undergo 10 days of quarantine in the UK even as the vaccine has been approved under the revised British guidelines for travel, according to UK officials. They said the main issue is vaccine certification and not the Covishield vaccine and that both India and the UK are holding talks to mutually resolve the matter. Will fight tooth and nail if Sidhu is made CM, says Captain Amarinder Ahead of Assembly polls, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said that if Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu is elevated to the post of Chief Minister, he would fight tooth and nail. "I will fight the elevation of Sidhu to Punjab chief ministership tooth and nail and am ready to make any sacrifice to save the country from such a dangerous man," the Captain said. Won't let Centre make India like Taliban, says Mamata Banerjee Terming BJP a 'Jumla party', West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday targeted the Central government and said that she won't let it "divide the country" and "make India like Taliban". She further accused the BJP of lying that the TMC-led West Bengal government is not allowing Durga pooja and Laxmi pooja celebrations in the TMC-ruled state. Chandrashekhar Azad will soon join Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha, claims Om Prakash Rajbhar Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar on Wednesday claimed that Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad will soon be a part of the Bhagidari Sankalp Morcha and a formal announcement in this regard will be made at a rally on October 27. Caste census a must, let 50 per cent cap be broken if required: Lalu Prasad Yadav Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad on Wednesday reiterated the demand for caste census and favoured “breaking” the 50 per cent ceiling on reservations if the population of SCs, STs and OBCs was found to be more than half of the total. Prasad, who has been convalescing in Delhi after his release from jail earlier this year, made the remarks while addressing a training camp of his party workers organised here to which he got connected online. NDMA recommended Rs 50,000 ex-gratia to kin of those who lost lives to COVID, Centre tells SC The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recommended that Rs 50,000 be given to the kin of those who died of COVID-19, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday. It said that ex-gratia assistance will also be given to the kin of those who died of the virus due to involvement in COVID-19 relief operations or activities associated with the preparedness for dealing with the pandemic. Congress wants SC-monitored probe in Gujarat drugs haul, Amazon 'bribery' case; seeks answers from PM The Congress Wednesday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the large drugs haul in Gujarat and in the alleged bribery case involving e-commerce firm Amazon, and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should answer the nation on these "very serious" issues of national security. "These issues are concerned with the country's security and those involved in these issues are guilty of sedition and that is why the prime minister will have to answer the nation," Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. His statement came a day after an official said the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized 2,988.21 kg heroin worth crores of rupees from two containers at the Adani-operated Mundra port in Gujarat's Kutch district and subsequently. Goyal launches National Single Window System for investors, businesses Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday soft-launched the National Single Window System for businesses and said the portal will usher in freedom from the legacy of running to government offices for approvals and registrations. Mumbai girl who lost legs in railway mishap completes MD Thirteen years ago, when Jogeshwari resident Roshan Jawwad lost both her legs in a train accident, she thought her life had come to a standstill and her childhood dream of becoming a doctor would remain just that. But the brave girl has showed she’s made of sterner stuff, fighting all odds, including a legal battle and a bone tumour, to complete her MD in pathology and proving where there’s a will there’s a way. SC declines Shree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trust's plea to exempt it from audit of 25 years The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined a plea filed by Shree Padmanabha Swamy Temple Trust seeking to exempt it from the audit of 25 years as ordered by the top court last year. A bench headed by Justice UU Lalit said that the audit should be completed as early as possible, preferably within three months. "It is clear that the audit contemplated was not intended to be confined to the temple only but with respect to the trust. This direction has to be seen in light of the reports of the amicus curiae in the case as recorded in order dated 2015," the bench also comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi said. Application for change of date of birth can only be as per relevant provisions: Supreme Court The Supreme Court Tuesday said that application for change of date of birth can only be as per the relevant provisions and even if there is cogent evidence, the same cannot be claimed as a matter of right. A bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna said application can be rejected on the ground of delay and also more particularly when it is made at the fag end of the service and/or when the employee is about to retire on attaining the age of superannuation. India reports 26,964 new COVID-19 infections, active cases lowest in 186 days India has recorded 26,964 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Wednesday. The number of active cases in the country now stands at 3,01,989, which is the lowest in 186 days. According to the ministry, active cases currently account for 0.90 per cent of total cases, which is the lowest since March 2020. As many as 34,167 people recovered from the COVID-19 infection in the last 24 hours, taking the recov Andhra: Clash breaks out between YSRCP, TDP workers in Guntur during Ganpati idol immersion A clash broke out between workers of the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) at Kopparru village in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur on Monday during Ganpati idol immersion procession. This came shortly after it was declared that the YSRCP had won a majority in the Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituencies (ZPTC) and Mandal Parishad Territorial Constituencies (MPTC) polls. TDP local leader Sarada said that YSRCP workers allegedly vandalised her house and furniture and even set things and nearby vehicles on fire. The police informed that as many as seven people are injured in the clash, the police said. "Clash took place between both the groups of YSRCP and TDP when Ganesh processions of both groups crossed each other. Seven persons are injured in the clash," Bapatla DSP A Srinivasa Rao told ANI. 'Will improve my language': Madhya Pradesh BJP leader Uma Bharti after 'slippers' remark After her controversial remarks that government officials are there only to "pick up our (leaders') slippers", senior BJP leader Uma Bharti has written a letter to Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh, saying she will improve her language and also urged him to do so. As a video containing Bharti's critical comments against bureaucracy surfaced on social media on Monday, Singh had criticised her for telling him to speak less, while she herself used "highly objectionable" words against bureaucrats. He had also sought an apology from her over her comments. Educational qualification valid ground for classification of persons in matters of promotion: Supreme Court The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that educational qualification is a valid ground for classification between persons of the same class in matters of promotion and is not violative of Articles 14 and 16 of the Constitution. It said that educational qualification can be used for introducing quotas for promotion for a certain class of persons; or may even be used to restrict promotion entirely to one class, to the exclusion of others. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli said that judicial review in matters of classification is limited to a determination of whether the classification is reasonable and bears a nexus to the object sought to be achieved and "Courts cannot indulge in a mathematical evaluation of the basis of classification or replace the wisdom of the legislature or its delegate with their own." Jammu and Kashmir youths taking to drug out of unemployment and frustration: Farooq Abdullah National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration of being indifferent to the plight of the youths of the Union Territory, who, he claimed, were turning to drugs out of joblessness and ensuing frustration. The NC president, who is also the Srinagar MP, made the allegation while interacting with party workers who had called on him at his residence here. Bombay HC asks CBI to file reply to bail plea of prime accused in Narendra Dabholkar killing The Bombay High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and directed it to file a reply to the bail plea of Virendrasingh Tawade, a prime accused in the 2013 case of killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune. A bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar directed the CBI to file its reply within two weeks. The central agency had arrested Tawade in 2016 and said in its charge-sheet that he was one of the masterminds of the conspiracy to kill the rationalist. UNGA address will focus on COVID, need to combat terrorism: PM Modi ahead of US visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said his visit to the United States would be an occasion to strengthen the Indo-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and consolidate ties with Japan and Australia. In a statement just before leaving for the US, Modi said he will conclude his visit with an address at the United Nations General Assembly focusing on the pressing global challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, climate change and other important issues. Before granting bail in grave offences, rights of victim and family be considered, Allahabad HC tells SC The Allahabad High Court has told the Supreme Court that in cases of serious and grave offences, rights of the victim and his family should be considered before granting bail to an accused. It suggested to the top court that a 'victim impact assessment' report should be obtained after consulting the victim. It said the report should clearly state all concerns along with vital information on physical, mental and social impact of the crime and impact the bail may have on the victim. The high court's registry has given its suggestions to the top court in pursuance of an earlier order asking it to help in laying down 'broad parameters' for regulating the matters of bail applications during the pendency of the appeals of the convicted persons. Samajwadi Party to contest 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in alliance with RLD, regional parties: Akhilesh Yadav The Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Lok Dal and some smaller parties will contest the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls together, and an announcement in this regard would be made soon, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said on Tuesday. He said besides the RLD, talks have reached the final stage with the Mahan Dal and Dr Sanjay Chauhan's outfit. Yadav said the "cleanup" of the BJP will begin from western Uttar Pradesh and the saffron party will be wiped out by the time it reaches Ballia (in eastern Uttar Pradesh). Board exams: CBSE not to charge registration or exam fees from students who have lost parents to COVID-19 Students appearing for Class 10 and 12 board exams next year will not have to pay any registration or examination fees if they have lost their parents due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Delhi Police sets up supervisory teams to ensure effective investigation of riot cases The deputy commissioner of police of northeast Delhi has written to other officers that supervisory teams have been constituted in order to ensure effective investigation of the 2020 riot cases. These teams will be responsible for reviewing the pending investigation in the riot cases thoroughly. Special emphasis will be laid on analysis of scientific and technical evidence available on record and on guiding investigating officers to gather more such evidence with the help and support of technical teams, the letter written on Monday stated. The status of exhibits collected and sent to the FSL shall also be reviewed, and the investigating officers given suggestions on additional queries or information required by FSL experts, it said. Want truth to come out: Delhi govt after HC nod to panel to probe deaths due to O2 shortage With the Delhi High Court giving its nod to the constitution of a committee to probe claims of deaths due to oxygen shortage during the COVID-19 second wave, the city government said it wanted the truth to come out. The Delhi government''s decision to form a high-powered committee (HPC) to look into the cases of deaths due to alleged shortage of oxygen had failed to get the lieutenant governor''s approval earlier. 5 Hindu Sena members held for vandalising AIMIM chief Owaisi's residence in Delhi: Police The Delhi Police arrested five members of the Hindu Sena on Tuesday for allegedly vandalising the official residence of AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi at Ashoka Road here. Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Deepak Yadav said five people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident. Police said they received information regarding the incident at around 5 pm and rushed to the spot. India is completely 'atmanirbhar' in missile technology: DRDO chief India has achieved "complete self-reliance" in missile technology and the most advanced missiles can now be developed in the country, DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy said on Tuesday. Delivering a lecture during an online event hosted by the JNU, he also asserted that if a country has to become prosperous and 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant), "we need to work on advance technology" and that is where the role of academic institutions will come in a "big way". Congress terms seizure of 3,000 kg heroin from Gujarat port 'serious' issue for India Congress said on Tuesday that the seizure of 3,000 kg heroin from Gujarat's Mundra port is a "serious issue" for India and added that it is a "conspiracy" to throw the youth into drug addiction. "The drugs sent from Afghanistan to India via Iran port were found on Mundra port of Gujarat. It is a serious issue for India when you have a look at its price and amount. It is a conspiracy to throw our youth into drug addiction. The money made through the sales of these drugs in India is used to fuel terrorism against our nation. This issue is serious and raises a lot of questions," said Congress national spokesperson Pawan Khera while addressing a press conference. Air Marshal VR Chaudhari appointed as next IAF chief Ace fighter pilot Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari has been appointed as the next chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) succeeding Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria who retires from service on September 30. Chaudhari is presently the Vice Chief of Air Staff and has been an ace MiG-29 pilot expert in major MiG-29 fighter aircraft. He was the chief of the Western Air Command from August 1, 2020.