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 Gold worth Rs 15.67 cr seized from passengers arriving from Saudi Arabia, UAE at Jaipur airport Nearly 32 kg of gold worth over Rs 15 crore was seized from 14 passengers who arrived here in two chartered flights from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, officials said on Saturday. PM Modi 'hesitant' in taking China's name: Owaisi All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being "hesitant" in taking China's name in the speech during his recent visit to Ladakh. Filing Of ITR For FY 2019-20 Extended Till Nov 30 The Income Tax Department stated that the filing of income-tax returns (ITR) for Financial Year 2019-20 has been extended till November 30. Mars Orbiter Mission Captures Image Of Mars' Biggest Moon Phobos The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday shared a recent image of the mysterious moon of Mars, Phobos, as captured by the Mars Orbiter Mission. Lightning Strikes Claims 21 More Lives In Bihar Twenty-one people have lost their lives due to lightning strikes in eight districts of Bihar in the past 24 hours, officials said on Saturday. Union Health Ministry praises ASHAs’ role in Karnataka’s COVID-19 fight Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) in Karnataka have emerged as a "crucial pillar in the state''s success" in combating COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday. Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress Holds Protest Against BJP Govt Over 'High Electricity Bills' Amid COVID-19 Goa Pradesh Mahila Congress on Friday held a protest against the BJP government for the "high electricity bills". WHO team to visit China next week to investigate origins of coronavirus Amid global concerns that China delayed giving information regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak, a team of WHO (World Health Organisation) will visit the country next week to investigate the origins of the virus and its spread to human beings. Zydus gets nod for human trials of COVID-19 vaccine Zydus on Friday said it has received approval from authorities to start human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine contender - the second Indian pharmaceutical firm to get such nod amid a surge in novel coronavirus infections worldwide. Ladakhis raising voice against Chinese intrusion; ignoring warning will cost India: Rahul Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said patriotic Ladakhis are raising their voice against Chinese intrusion and asked the government to listen to them, asserting that ignoring their warning will cost India dearly. In highest single-day spike, nearly 23k test positive for COVID; death toll rises to 18,655 in India With 22,771 people testing positive for coronavirus in the highest single-day spike so far, India's COVID-19 tally climbed to?6,48,315 on Saturday, while the death toll rose to 18,655 with 442 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data.? India sees highest single-day spike of 20,903 COVID-19 cases, tally reaches 6,25,544 India reported the highest ever single-day spike of 20,903 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours on Friday, said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Kanpur encounter 'extremely sad, shameful and unfortunate': Mayawati Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Maaywati on Friday called the encounter at Kanpur, that resulted in the killing of 8 police personnel, as "extremely sad, shameful and unfortunate". Kanpur incident another proof of 'gundaraj' in UP, says Rahul Gandhi Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that Kanpur encounter that resulted in the killing of eight police personnel is another proof of 'gundaraj' in the state and added that how will public remain safe when the police themselves are not safe. Assam floods: Over 16 lakh affected in 22 districts According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, over 16 lakh people have been affected in 22 districts due to flood situation in the state. PM reaches Ladakh on surprise visit Days after a violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in East Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday reached Leh with Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat. 8 UP police personnel killed in encounter with criminals in Kanpur At least eight Uttar Pradesh police personnel, including a deputy superintendent of police, were killed in an encounter with criminals in Kanpur, officials said on Friday. Rajasthan govt transfers over 100 IAS officers In a major bureaucratic reshuffle, the Rajasthan government has appointed Rajeeva Swarup as the new chief secretary replacing D B Gupta and transferred over 100 IAS officers. Madhya Pradesh cabinet expanded: 28 ministers take oath The Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led Madhya Pradesh cabinet was expanded on Thursday with induction of 28 ministers, including a dozen loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia, whose exit from the Congress in March led to the fall of the 15-month-old Kamal Nath-led regime in the state. Sensex rallies 429 pts; Nifty tops 10,550 level Equity benchmark BSE Sensex rallied 429 points on Thursday on widespread buying amid a broad upmove in global markets following encouraging COVID-19 vaccine trials. Babri trial: Uma Bharti appears before CBI court Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti Thursday appeared in person before a special court here conducting trial in the 1992 Babri mosque demolition case. Banning Chinese apps a "digital strike": Prasad Calling the ban on Chinese apps a "digital strike", Union Communication and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said India wants peace but if someone casts an evil eye the country is capable of giving a befitting reply. CM Kejriwal inaugurates plasma bank, asks people to donate plasma to save COVID-19 patients A plasma bank to treat novel coronavirus started functioning in Delhi on Thursday, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal saying that COVID-19 patients can donate their plasma 14 days after recovery. ASI monuments to be reopened for public from July 6 All ASI protected monuments will be reopened for the public from July 6, the Union Culture Minister Prahlad Patel said on Thursday. Private train operations likely by April 2023: Railways Private train operations in the country will begin by April 2023, and the ticket fares in these trains will be competitive with airfares on similar routes, the Railways said Thursday. Modi, Putin discuss bilateral ties, post-COVID world Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday discussed various bilateral issues and the post-COVID world. Over 19K COVID-19 cases push India's tally above 6 lakh, 5 days after crossing 5-lakh mark India's COVID-19 tally zoomed past six lakh cases on Thursday with a single-day increase of 19,148 cases, just five days after it crossed the five-lakh mark, while the death toll rose to 17,834, according to the Union health ministry data. There may be some difficulties in conducting CA exams: ICAI tells SC The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Thursday told the Supreme Court that there may be some difficulties in conducting the Chartered Accountants (CA) exams as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Sandesara scam: ED questions Congress leader Ahmed Patel for 3rd time A team of Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday arrived at the residence of Congress leader Ahmed Patel to question him in connection with Sandesara scam. Maharashtra: Over 360 inmates, 100 jail staff test positive for COVID-19 so far The Maharashtra Prison Department on Thursday said that a total of 363 inmates and 102 jail staff members have so far tested positive for coronavirus. India crosses nine million COVID-19 tests India has crossed the nine-million mark in conducting COVID-19 tests, with 90,56,173 samples having been examined till July 1, officials said on Thursday Father-Son duo thrashed all night by Sathankulam police Personnel at the Sathankulam police station here thrashed a deceased father-son duo the whole night there, with lathis used for allegedly assaulting them and a table carrying blood stains, a woman head constable attached to the station has told a judicial probe. Madhya Pradesh Cabinet to take oath tomorrow, says CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan The cabinet will take oath on Thursday, said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Death toll rises to 6 in boiler explosion in Tamil Nadu, 17 injured At least six people have been found dead and 17 injured in the boiler explosion that broke out in Tamil Nadu earlier on Wednesday. Physical distancing over six feet may be essential to prevent COVID-19 transmission, says study Respiratory droplets travel between eight to 13 feet before they evaporate or escape, without wind and depending on the ambient condition, according to Indian researchers who suggest that physical distancing greater than six feet may be essential to avoid COVID-19 transmission. India has responsibility of upholding our businesses, says China after TikTok ban China on Tuesday evening opposed and expressed serious concern over India’s decision late on Monday to ban 59 Chinese Apps including the very popular TikTok on national security grounds, and asked New Delhi to stop the “discrimination”. Rajnath Singh likely to visit Ladakh on Friday amid border tensions with China Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to visit Ladakh on Friday to review India's military preparedness in view of the bitter border standoff with the Chinese army in the region, sources said. Tamil Nadu custodial deaths: NHRC issue notices to state DGP, Thoothukudi SP The NHRC on Wednesday said it has issued notices to the DGP of Tamil Nadu and SP of Thoothukudi district in the southern state over the death of a father-son duo allegedly due to torture by police. Rahul Gandhi to state governments: Accept coronavirus as the problem and fight it Governments are trying to "manage the perception" about coronavirus infections and give a sense that the problem is not as bad as it is, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday, asserting that it is important to accept the problem and fight it. PM Modi applauds role of doctors, CAs Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hailed the role of doctors in their "spirited" fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they are saving lives by putting themselves in danger. PM announces free ration for 80 cr people for five more months till November end Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced extension of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), a programme to provide free ration for over 80 crore people, mostly poor, by five more months till November end Chinese app ban: TikTok says in process of complying with govt order TikTok on Tuesday said it is in the process of complying with the government's order on blocking of the app, and asserted that it has not shared information of Indian users with any foreign government, including that of China. Banning apps not enough, China needs to be given befitting reply: Mamata West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said banning apps will not be enough, asserting that China needs to be given a befitting reply. HC declines to entertain plea seeking free COVID-19 testing, treatment for all at pvt labs, hospitals The Delhi High Court Tuesday declined to entertain a plea seeking free of cost COVID-19 testing and treatment at all private labs and hospitals in the national capital for everyone, rich or poor, saying PILs should be filed with "some responsibility". Govt's total liabilities rise to Rs 94.62 lakh cr in Jan-Mar FY20 The government's total liabilities increased 0.8 per cent to Rs 94.62 lakh crore at March-end 2020 as compared to the preceding quarter, a finance ministry report said on Tuesday. Lightning strikes kill seven in Gujarat Seven persons, including two children, were killed in separate incidents of lightning strike in Gujarat's Saurashtra region that witnessed heavy rainfall on Tuesday, police said. COVID-19 vaccination must be affordable, universal: PM Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed India's preparations for vaccinating its vast population against COVID-19 once a vaccine is available and asserted that vaccination must be affordable and universal. 4.0-magnitude earthquake hits Jammu region An earthquake of magnitude 4.0 hit the Jammu region in the early hours of Tuesday, officials said. Delhi's Jama Masjid to reopen on July 4: Shahi Imam The historic Jama Masjid, which had closed earlier this month due to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city, will reopen for congregational prayers (namaz) from July 4, Shahi Imam of the mosque Syed Ahmed Bukhari said on Tuesday. Security outside Taj hotel in Mumbai beefed up: Police Police have beefed up security outside the Taj hotel in south Mumbai after the Karachi Stock Exchange terror attack, a senior official said on Tuesday. Assam flood situation remains grim; 38,000 affected, 1 more dead The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Wednesday, with the deluge killing one more person and affecting 38,000 people in five districts of the state. Income Tax Returns' filing deadline extended till July 31; PAN-Aadhaar linkage till March 2021 The Centre on Wednesday extended the deadline for filing income tax returns (ITR) for FY 2018-19 by a month to July 31, 2020, and for linking biometric Aadhaar with PAN till March 31 next year. 100th Shramik special train leaves Pune carrying 682 migrants The 100th 'Shramik special' train from Pune, carrying over 680 passengers, mostly migrant workers, students and their families, departed for Jharkhand on Wednesday, the district administration said. Army chief visits forward areas in Ladakh; takes stock of ground situation Army Chief Gen M M Naravane on Wednesday visited various forward areas in eastern Ladakh and took stock of the Army's combat preparedness in the region in the wake of the bitter border standoff with China, officials said. Woman pushed to death for trying to save daughter, two arrested A woman was pushed to her death when she tried to save her college-going daughter from being molested by miscreants at her home in West Bengal's Howrah district, police said on Wednesday. COVID-19 cases in India climb to 4,40,215, nearly 11,000 recoveries in single day With 14,933 people testing positive for coronavirus in a single day, India''s COVID-19 tally climbed to 4,40,215 on Tuesday while the death toll rose to 14,011 with 312 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data. Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra begins in Puri The annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra began on Tuesday in Puri after the Supreme Court granted permission to hold the annual chariot festival this year. India has 30 coronavirus cases for every one lakh population India's COVID-19 cases per lakh people is one of the lowest in the world despite its high population density, and the recovery rate has now reached almost 56 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday. Petrol, diesel prices hiked for 17th consecutive day Petrol price on June 23 was hiked by 20 paise per litre and diesel by 55 paise per litre as oil companies increased prices for the 17th day in a row. COVID cases at shelter home: NHRC sends notices to UP govt, DGP The NHRC has sent notices to the Uttar Pradesh government and the state police chief over reports that 57 minor girls tested positive for COVID-19 at a state-run shelter home in Kanpur, officials said on Monday. 2,909 fresh COVID-19 cases in Delhi take tally to over 62K; death toll mounts to 2,233 Delhi recorded 2,909 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the tally in the city over the 62,000-mark, while the death toll from the disease climbed to 2,233, authorities said. 2.8 magnitude earthquake hits Nagaland An earthquake of magnitude 2.8 on the Richter scale occurred 44 km east-northeast of Kohima, Nagaland at 12.40 pm on Monday, the National Centre for Seismology said. 18,000 COVID-19 tests being conducted each day: Arvind Kejriwal Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that testing has been increased by three times in the city and now 18,000 tests are being done per day in the national capital. COVID-19: Delhi HC dismisses PIL for actions against faulty, substandard PPE kit manufacturers The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking actions against those manufacturing faulty and substandard personal protective equipment (PPE) kits under the guise of COVID-19 kits. Goa reports first COVID-19 death; 85-yr-old man succumbs An 85-year-old man succumbed to the coronavirus infection in Goa on Monday, making it the first case of death due to the disease in the state, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said. India's COVID-19 tally 4,25,282 with 14,821 fresh cases, death toll rises to 13,699  India on Monday added 14,821 new COVID-19 cases pushing the infection tally to 4,25,282, while the death toll rose to 13,699 with 445 new fatalities, according to Union Health Ministry data Ladakh face-off: BJP hits back at Manmohan Singh In a scathing counter-attack on Manmohan Singh, BJP president J P Nadda said on Monday that he as prime minister "abjectly surrendered" hundreds of square kilometres of India's land to China and presided over 600 incursions made by the neighbouring country between 2010 and 2013. Odisha reports one more COVID-19 fatality, 143 new cases A 46-year-old man from Ganjam district became the latest COVID-19 victim in Odisha, raising the death toll due to the contagion in the state to 15, a health department official said on Monday. COVID-19: Rajasthan records 67 fresh cases Rajasthan reported 67 fresh coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the state's virus tally to 14,997, officials said. Rajnath Singh leaves for 3-day visit to Russia Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday left for a three-day visit to Russia during which he will hold talks with top Russian military brass and attend a grand military parade in Moscow to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany in the Second World War. Rajasthan: Cong wins two Rajya Sabha seats, BJP bags one The Congress won two Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan and the BJP got one in the elections held here on Friday. India to witness solar eclipse on June 21 The first visible eclipse of the decade, classified as the 'Annular Solar Eclipse' and popularly known as the 'Ring of Fire', will occur on June 21. Ban Chinese app TikTok in India: Athawale Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday called for a ban on TikTok to impact China economically, saying 15 crore Indians use the Chinese app due to which the neighbouring country makes crores in profit. Need to think about Unlock 2.0: PM Modi to CMs The indicators of economic performance are showing signs of revival following reduction in restrictions imposed during the coronavirus lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday as he told chief ministers to think about 'Unlock 2.0' and also ways to minimise infection. BJP government in Manipur in minority after 9 MLAs quit ahead of Rajya Sabha polls The BJP-led government in Manipur is heading towards a crisis with nine ruling coalition members, including four ministers, resigning on Wednesday. US, Russia and EU urge India, China to apply restraint and engage in dialogue The United States on Wednesday said it was closely monitoring the situation on the Sino-Indian border and supported the peaceful resolution of the border issue between the two neighbours, while Russia too welcomed the joint efforts by India and China towards de-escalation. 'Why Indian soldiers were sent 'unarmed to martyrdom'' Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday questioned why Indian soldiers were sent "unarmed to martyrdom" in Ladakh and how dare China kill them, a day after asking the defence minister why he did not name China in his tweet and why it took him two days to condole the deaths of 20 Army personnel. 'Scrap Chinese firm's contract for Metro project' In the wake of the killing of 20 Indian soldiers in a violent clash with Chinese troops in Ladakh, Maharashtra NCP minister Jitendra Awhad has asked the Centre to scrap the Delhi-Meerut Metro work contract bagged by a Chinese firm. Petrol price hiked by 53 paise/litre, diesel by 64 paise; 12th straight day of increase Petrol price on Thursday was hiked by 53 paise per litre and diesel by 64 paise a litre, the 12th straight day of increase in rates that now totals to Rs 6.55 for petrol and Rs 7.04 for diesel. India stands shoulder to shoulder with families of martyred bravehearts: Rajnath New Delhi: The loss of soldiers in Galwan Valley is deeply disturbing and painful, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday, paying glowing tributes to the Army personnel who were killed in a violent clash with the Chinese Army. The Indian Army on Tuesday said 20 Army personnel, including a Colonel, were killed in the clash on Monday night, in the biggest ever military confrontation between the two armies in over five decades. In a series of tweets, Singh said Indian soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. "The Nation will never forget their bravery and sacrifice. My heart goes out to the families of the fallen soldiers. The nation stands shoulder to shoulder with them in this difficult hour. We are proud of the bravery and courage of India's bravehearts," he said. Monday's clash was the biggest confrontation between the two militaries after their 1967 clashes in Nathu La when India lost around 80 soldiers while over 300 Chinese Army personnel were killed in the confrontation. The External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday said the violent face-off between armies of India and China in eastern Ladakh was the result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo in the region. The ministry said both sides suffered casualties that could have been avoided had the agreement arrived earlier at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side. The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in the standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh. A sizeable number of Chinese Army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso. The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row. TV anchor Amish Devgan booked for remark on Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti JAIPUR: Police have registered an FIR against a television news anchor for allegedly making an objectionable comment on Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. The FIR was lodged after a complaint against News 18 India anchor Amish Devgan by a "khadim" at the saint's dargah in Ajmer on Tuesday night. "He is running a communal agenda against the Muslim community. The dargah of Sufi saint is visited not only by Muslims but by people of all religions and his comments have hurt the sentiments of all," Syed Sarwar Chishti said. The anchor later apologised on Twitter. "In 1 of my debates, I inadvertently referred to 'Khilji' as Chishti. I sincerely apologise for this grave error and the anguish it may hv caused to followers of the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, whom I revere. I have in the past sought blessings at his dargah. I regret this error," Devgan tweeted. Dargah SHO Hem Raj said a case was registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act for outraging religious feelings. Another complaint was lodged by activist Muzaffar Bharti at the office of Ajmer's Superintendent of Police. He accused Devgan and his team of trying to incite riots through "misleading and objectionable debates on communal issues". He said Devgan made highly objectionable remarks on the revered saint, which shall not be tolerated. "The dargah of Moinuddin Chishti is the symbol of brotherhood and harmony and crores of people of different religions all over the world have deep love and faith in the saint," he said. SC notice to Centre on plea seeking protective kits for healthcare workers combating COVID-19 The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central government on a plea filed by the United Nurses Association (UNA) that submitted the healthcare workers are exposed to the risk of contracting COVID-19 and sought directions to provide protective kits to the healthcare workers. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan sought the response from the Central government and posted the matter for hearing after four weeks. The UNA, through its Delhi State General Secretary Joldin Francis, filed an intervention application in the suo motu case taken up by the apex court relating to the proper treatment of COVID-19 patients and dignified handling of bodies in the hospitals. The association, a Kerala-based 3.8 lakh strong nurses group, has claimed that in Delhi more than 1,000 workers have already tested positive with the virus that has led to the death of five workers. It sought directions for providing protective kits to healthcare workers and also making them available in COVID-19 hospitals. It further sought proper accommodation for healthcare workers near the hospitals, prompt transportation to the healthcare staff, along with provisions of nutritious food, proper screening of suspected persons before admission and to ensure speedy testing. The application also said that there should be full and timely payment of salaries of healthcare staff working even in private hospitals. It sought to expand the scope of personal accident cover provided under the 'Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana' to healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 and also include all healthcare workers across sectors, including those recruited on ad-hoc basis under the scheme. Free testing and treatment should be extended to those workers who get infected by COVID-19 while performing their duty, the application said, adding that families of workers need to be looked after while they undergo treatment and remain in quarantine. "The health and safety (physical/mental) of healthcare workers are of utmost importance because a further shortage of health care workers would result in thousands of unattended COVID-19 patients, which will have serious repercussions including escalation of the present situation and result in an impact on the economy, medical facilities, potential deaths and loss of human resource," the plea said. PM should tell nation how Chinese occupied Indian territory: Sonia Gandhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi should tell the country how the Chinese occupied Indian territory and why 20 soldiers were killed, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Wednesday. Her statement comes after 20 Indian Army personnel, including a Colonel, were killed in a violent clash with the Chinese army in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night. "Today when there is so much anger over Chinese intrusion, the prime minister should come out and tell the nation how the Chinese managed to commit this act of aggression," Gandhi said in a video message The Congress chief also asked how much of Indian territory has been occupied by China and what is the government's strategy to deal with the situation. "The prime minister should tell the nation how the Chinese occupied Indian territory and why 20 of our brave soldiers were martyred," she asked. Gandhi said in this time of crisis, the Congress stands with the Indian Army, its soldiers and their families, and the government. "I'm confident that the entire country will unite to face the enemy in these challenging times," she said.  Gwalan Valley face-off will impact bilateral ties: Jaishankar in phone call with Chinese foreign minister BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the two leaders agreed to "cool down" tensions on the ground "as soon as possible" and maintain peace and tranquility in the border area in accordance with the agreement reached between the two countries, an official statement said here. The telephonic conversation between the two ministers came after 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in the clashes with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two countries. All parties will support any decision PM takes, but he should tell what went wrong in Ladakh: Sanjay Raut Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said that all parties would support any decision taken by Prime Minister in connection with China but added that the PM should first reveal the truth behind the death of 20 Army personnel in the violent face-off which took place with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley, Ladakh. "Our relations with China have not been great, but no bullets had been fired at the China border for close to 50 years. The killing of 20 of our jawans is shocking. We cannot hold Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi responsible for whatever happened at the border. We all are responsible for the martyrdom of 20 jawans. All parties will support whatever decision the Prime Minister takes but he should tell people what went wrong," Raut told reporters here. Urging the PM to give a call for action, Raut added that China should never be trusted. "The country is shocked right now, an all-party meeting will not solve anything. Talks regarding action should be held now. Nobody should trust China, it had once betrayed Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and it is the same China which has betrayed Narendra Modi now," he added. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan valley area on Monday evening. The violent face-off happened on late evening and the night of June 15 in Ladakh's Galwan Valley as a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to "unilaterally change" the status quo during de-escalation in Eastern Ladakh and the situation could have been avoided if the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side, India said on June 16. The Chinese side also suffered casualties, including the death of the commanding officer of the Chinese Unit involved in the violent face-off with Indian troops, sources confirmed to ANI India wants peace but capable of giving befitting reply if instigated: PM Narendra Modi New Delhi: In a strong message to China after the killing of at least 20 Indian soldiers in the violent face-off with Chinese troops, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India wants peace but is capable of giving a befitting reply, if instigated. His remarks came at the sixth interaction with Chief Ministers, via video conferencing, to discuss the situation emerging post-Unlock 1.0 and plans ahead for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. "We have prayed for the welfare of humanity. We have always worked with neighbouring countries in a friendly way and cooperation. We have always tried that our differences should not turn into disputes. We never provoke anyone. But we can never compromise on country's integrity and sovereignty. We have always displayed our power in protecting the country's integrity and sovereignty," the Prime Minister said. "I would like to assure the nation that the sacrifice of our soldiers will not be in vain. For us, the unity and sovereignty of the country are most important. And no one can stop protecting our country. India wants peace but it is capable of giving a befitting reply if provoked. "The country is proud of them as they sacrificed their lives while killing the enemy," he added. The Prime Minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Ministers of 15 States and Union Territories, who are present in the meeting via video-conferencing today, observed a two-minute silence as a tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in the violent face-off. At least 20 Indian Army personnel, including a Colonel rank officer, had lost their lives in the violent face-off in the Galwan valley area of Ladakh on June 15. The violent face-off happened in Galwan valley as a result of an attempt by the Chinese troops to "unilaterally change" the status quo during de-escalation in Eastern Ladakh and the situation could have been avoided if the agreement at the higher level been scrupulously followed by the Chinese side, India said on June 16. Prime Minister Modi has called for an all-party meeting to discuss the situation in the India-China border areas on June 19. Ladakh face-off: PM convenes all-party meet on Friday New Delhi, Jun 17 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has convened an all-party virtual meet on Friday to discuss the situation along the India-China border, his office said on Wednesday. The meeting comes against the backdrop of demands by the opposition seeking details of the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh which left 20 Indian Army personnel dead. "In order to discuss the situation in the India-China border areas, Prime Minister @narendramodi has called for an all-party meeting at 5 PM on 19th June. Presidents of various political parties would take part in this virtual meeting," the PMO tweeted. Twenty Indian soldiers including a colonel, were killed on Monday evening in a clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh Galwan valley. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday asked the prime minister to share the truth of the India-China face-off, saying the entire country is standing behind him. Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that Indian soldiers displayed exemplary courage and valour in the line of duty and sacrificed their lives in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. "The Nation will never forget their bravery and sacrifice. My heart goes out to the families of the fallen soldiers ...We are proud of the bravery and courage of India's bravehearts," he wrote on Twitter. 'When will a befitting reply to China be given?' Sanjay Raut asks PM Modi Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi when a 'befitting reply' to China will be given and urged him to reveal the truth behind the violent face-off in the Galwan valley area in which at least 20 Indian Army personnel, including a Colonel, were killed. The Rajya Sabha MP added that the country will avenge the death of its personnel under the command of PM Modi. Why is PM 'silent', why is he 'hiding', asks Rahul on India-China face-off Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today posted a Twitter video asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the nation into confidence on what is happening along the LAC with China. SC to hear plea against SSLC exams in Karnataka A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court against the Karnataka High Court's order of May 27 declining to cancel  the Class 10 SSLC Board examination in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the high risk to the health and lives of lakhs of minor students.  COVID-19: India registers highest-ever spike of 2,003 deaths, number of cases rise to 3,54,065 India registered the highest-ever spike of 2,003 COVID-19 fatalities pushing the death toll to 11,903 on Wednesday after Maharashtra and Delhi added earlier deaths that were not attributed to the disease. Fuel prices rise on 11th day; Petrol hiked by 55 paise/litre, diesel by 60 paise  Petrol price on Wednesday was hiked by 55 paise per litre and diesel by 60 paise a litre, marking the 11th consecutive day of increase in rates that now totals to Rs 6.02 for petrol and Rs 6.4 for diesel. India says 20 soldiers killed on disputed Himalayan border with China Twenty members of India’s armed forces have been killed in a “violent face-off” with Chinese soldiers on their disputed Himalayan border, raising tensions in the already volatile region. Lockdown shocker to thousands in Kerala in the form of electricity bill Thiruvananthapuram:  Thousands of electricity consumers in Kerala are literally shocked at heavy electricity bills for the lockdown days, even for vacant houses. KSEB sources said that over one lakh complaints have so far been received from consumers. The KSEB's total consumer base is around 1.27 crore. A major chunk of the domestic consumers received a comparatively higher bill after the lockdown days as the consumption at houses increased during the lockdown period. However, it appears that there were also flaws in calculating the slab-wise fares. An actor-filmmaker, Madhupal, received a bill of Rs. 5,714 even as his house in Thiruvananthapuram city remained locked during the lockdown days. After he complained, the bill was reduced to Rs. 300. However, another actor, Maniyan Pillai Raju, who complained that his charges went up to Rs. 42,000 from the usual charges of around Rs, 7,000, did not receive a reprieve yet as KSEB officials maintained that his metre reading had shown higher consumption during lockdown days.  According to sources, since door-to-door metre reading could not be carried out in many places owing to the COVID-19 situation, many bills were prepared by considering the average consumption during previous months. In cases where houses remained locked, the average consumption was considered. Hence, hundreds of consumers received a higher bill despite low consumption. While KSEB chairman N S Pillai said that all such complaints due to flaws in billing would be rectified. KSEB sources said out of the one lakh odd complaints received so far, only less than 5,000 were genuine ones. In majority of complaints the total charges have gone up as the KSEB is following a slab-wise tariff system in which the rate per unit will go up with every 50 units consumed. With the power charge hike snowballing into a major issue affecting the common man, the Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front has also initiated state-wide protest over the issue on Tuesday. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala called for a ‘Lights Off Kerala’ protest on June 17 at 9 pm. Consumers have been urged to switch off their lights for three minutes as a mark of protest. An online petition has also been launched. Chennithala alleged that some consumers received the bill to the tune of Rs. 18,000, which is thrice their normal charges. Supreme Court says COVID-19 situation is not improving in the country, it's getting worse New Delhi: The COVID-19 situation in the country is worsening each passing day and not improving, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday while extending the parole of a Punjab based businessman accused in a drug racket case. The top court''s observation came while hearing a criminal case in which the accused Jagjit Singh Chahal has sought extension of his parole ending next month. A bench of Justices R F Nariman, Navin Sinha and B R Gavai said that in a situation like this there is no point in overcrowding the prisons when some of the accused are either out on bail or are on parole. “You see...the COVID-19 situation is not getting any better with each passing day. It is only getting worse in the country," the bench told the Punjab government''s counsel who opposed the plea. The bench perused the affidavit of Punjab government which said that the bail was granted to him in the case on February 19 and his appeal is coming for hearing on July 16. “The parole is to continue until the appeal is heard and finally decided provided that the petitioner cooperates and does not ask for any adjournment on any ground when the appeal comes up for hearing. The special leave petition is disposed of. Pending applications stand disposed of,” the bench said in its order. Chahal, a prominent businessman, is also accused in a money laundering case besides being booked for running a drug racket in the state. The top court had last month issued notice to Punjab government on the plea for its response. Fight against Covid-19 fine example of cooperative federalism: PM Narendra Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the fight against Covid-19 is a fine example of cooperative federalism in which the Centre and the States are working together to contain the spread of the deadly virus. In his opening remarks at a meeting with chief ministers and Lt. Governors of 21 States and Union Territories, he said the economy is showing signs of improvement and encouraging us to move ahead. He said as the economy opens up, people should not down their guard to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus. It is unimaginable to move out without a mask, Modi said urging people to follow social distancing norms. He also said any death due to the virus is tragic. Rahul Gandhi targets Modi government over rising fuel prices New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to stop "profiteering" from the misery of the poor as he attacked the BJP-led government for raising fuel prices. He also asked the prime minister to put money in the hands of the poor and middle class during the current crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic. "PM Modi, these tragic times dictate putting money directly in the hands of the middle class and poor. STOP profiteering from their misery," the Congress leader wrote on Twitter, using the hashtag -- "ModiStopLootingIndia". He also shared a letter from Congress president Sonia Gandhi to the prime minister, seeking a rollback of the increase in fuel prices. The former Congress chief has been targeting the government over the rise in petrol and diesel prices, and has said the middle class and poor people pay for the "gifts crony capitalists get". "Middle class and the poor pay for the gifts the crony capitalists get," Gandhi wrote on Twitter on Monday. Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also wrote on the microblogging website that Sonia Gandhi has written to the prime minister demanding a rollback of the surging petrol-diesel prices that have broken the back of the common man in these challenging times. The statements came on a day oil companies raised petrol and diesel prices for the 10th day in a row, with the petrol price hiked to Rs 76.73 per litre from Rs 76.26 in Delhi and the diesel rates to Rs 75.19 a litre from Rs 74.26. Due to the 10 hikes, the petrol price has gone up by Rs 5.47 per litre and that of diesel by Rs 5.8 a litre. COVID-19: 80 people working in UP CM helpline centre test positive LUCKNOW: At least 80 people working for the Uttar Pradesh chief minister's helpline service here have tested positive for COVID-19, a senior official said on Tuesday. "The first case (among those working at the helpline) was detected around 4-5 days back," the official told PTI. The helpline service '1076' has been outsourced to a company. "We had visited the place almost a month back, and they were properly told masks and sanitisers have to be used by everyone. They (the company) forwarded us photographs and videos of people wearing masks while working," the official said. However, the official refused to comment on whether any action has been initiated against the company, which was providing the services. The Yogi Adityanath government had last year launched the chief minister's helpline number '1076'. The 24X7 toll-free helpline number enables residents of the state to file their complaints. It was launched to establish a direct link between the people and the Chief Minister's Office. Why are you hesitating to show red-eye to China in Ladakh? questions Kapil Sibal New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Tuesday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the border matter with China in Galwan Valley, saying 'why he is hesitating to show red-eye to China in Ladakh'?​​​​​​​ "Double faced politics. Modi Ji use to accuse the UPA for not showing red eye to China when it crosses LAC. Modi ji, now why are you hesitating to show red-eye to China in Ladakh?," he tweeted. "And when Nepal is showing you red-eye then why do you now want to have a dialogue. Where is your 56-inch chest?." A couple of days back, Rahul Gandhi also questioned the government over Chinese aggression in Ladakh and targeted the Prime Minister. "The Chinese have walked in and taken our territory in Ladakh. Meanwhile. The PM is absolutely silent and has vanished from the scene," the Congress MP posted, tagging a news article that claimed China has taken a hard line during military-level talks on Saturday. The former Congress president has been asking the government repeatedly to clarify whether China has taken over Indian Territory in Ladakh region. Violent face-off in Galwan valley: 3 Indian soldiers killed An Indian Army officer and two soldiers were killed during a violent confrontation with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night, the first such incident in the last 45 years that reflected massive escalation in the five-week border row. The Army said India lost an officer and two soldiers during the violent face-off, while there were casualties on the Chinese side as well. The extent of casualties on the Chinese Army is not immediately clear. According to a senior military officer, it is the first incident involving the casualty of an Indian soldier in a violent clash with the Chinese Army after 1975 when four Indian soldiers were killed in an ambush at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh along the de-facto border between the two countries. Official sources said there was no firing between the two sides. "During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place on Monday night with casualties. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers," the Army said in a brief statement. It is learnt that the Army officer killed in the clash was the commanding officer of a battalion at Galwan. It is believed that the three Army men died due to injuries sustained following stone-pelting by the Chinese side. However, there is no official word on it. Large number of Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in Galwan Valley and certain other areas of eastern Ladakh for the last five weeks. The incident comes days after Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said both sides have begun disengaging from Galwan Valley. China's state-run newspaper Global Times claimed in a report that clashes were triggered by Indian troops as they crossed over to the Chinese side and carried out attacks on Chinese soldiers. The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in the standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh. A sizeable number of Chinese Army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso. The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row. In their first serious efforts to end the row, Lt General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, and Commander of the Tibet Military District Maj Gen Liu Lin held a nearly seven-hour meeting on June 6. The meeting was followed by two rounds of Major General-level talks. The Indian side has been pitching for restoration of status quo ante and immediate withdrawal of thousands of Chinese troops from the areas which India considers on its side of the LAC. On Saturday, Gen Naravane said both sides are "disengaging" in a phased manner. "We have started from the north, from the area of the Galwan river where a lot of disengagement has taken place. It has been a very fruitful dialogue that we have had." Following the standoff in eastern Ladakh, the two sides have deployed additional troops along the LAC, the de-facto Sino-India border, in North Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh in the last few days, the sources said. After the standoff began in early last month, Indian military leadership decided that Indian troops will adopt a firm approach in dealing with the aggressive posturing by the Chinese troops in all disputed areas of Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie. The Chinese Army has been gradually ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the LAC by rushing in artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment. The trigger for the face-off was China's stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley. The road in the Finger area in Pangong Tso is considered crucial for India to carry out patrol. India has already decided not to stall any border infrastructure projects in eastern Ladakh in view of Chinese protests. The situation in the area deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9. The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it. Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.