Massive demonstrations and protest rallies were held in Mizoram and Tripura on Tuesday to protest against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
In Mizo National Front (MNF)-ruled Mizoram, the powerful Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee (MNCC) held spirited demonstrations in Aizawl and seven other district headquarters to protest against the controversial Bill.
Protest rallies were also held in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Tripura over the same issue.
According to the police officials of the two mountainous states, no untoward incidents were reported from any of these two northeastern states.
Displaying placards and shouting slogans, the protesters demonstrated in support of their demands till late Tuesday afternoon in all the eight district headquarters of Mizoram, including the capital city Aizawl.
Led by influential Young Mizo Association, the MNCC, a conglomerate of major civil societies, student and youth bodies, continued their agitation in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.
Addressing the youths and students of India, Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet, “Everyday there are new revelations about RAFALE that make it clear that the PM helped his friend Anil Ambani, steal 30,000 Cr of your money.”
M Nageswara Rao reaches Supreme Court to appear in connection with the contempt notice issued against him by the court for transferring the CBI officer probing the Bihar shelter home cases.
The court had issued the notice to Rao for transferring joint director AK Sharma out of CBI.
Rao on Monday admitted that as interim chief of the CBI he committed a "mistake" in transferring Sharma and apologised to the top court, saying he had no intention to circumvent its orders.
Rao, who filed an affidavit in response to the contempt notice issued to him on February 7, said he was praying for an unconditional and unqualified apology by the court.
SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was stopped at Lucknow airport says, “The government is so afraid of me going to attend a student leader's swearing-in ceremony that I am being stopped at Lucknow Airport.”
CBI's M Nageswara Rao tenders unqualified and unconditional apology in SC in Bihar shelter home cases. SC says Nageswara Rao aware of apex court directions that CBI officer cannot be transferred without its consent
Rahul Gandhi cited The Indian Express report and asked how is Anil Ambani meeting the French defence minister before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting. "This is violation of the Secrets Act."
Congress president Rahul Gandhi says, “PM Modi acted as middleman for Anil Ambani for helping his company clinch the multi-crore fighter jet deal. PM Modi violated the secrecy act of the deal, there should be a criminal case against him.”
Rahul Gandhi says “An Airbus executive wrote that Anil Ambani met the French Defence Minister and told him 10 days before the Rafale deal was signed that he was going to get it.”
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi says, “Now PM needs to answer how did Anil Ambani knew 10 days in advance of the Rafale deal. Defence Minister, HAL, Foreign Secy don't know but Anil Ambani knew. If this is true then PM is in violation of official secrets act, criminal action must be initiated on this basis.”
Addressing the press, Congress president Rahul Gandhi questioned the prime minister over the controversy and asked whom he is protecting. "Who is he protecting? Why isn't he open for an unbiased investigation? What are they hiding?"
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said, “This is now treason, Narendra Modi is doing what spies do, he is informing somebody of a defence matter. He is under oath to protect these secrets.”
A short circuit is suspected to be the cause of the fire that broke out in Karol Bagh's Arpit Palace hotel in the early hours of Tuesday, a senior civic official said.
The fire, which killed at least 17 people, initially broke out in the second floor of the building, an North Delhi Municipal Corporation official said.
The hotel was first granted a licence in October 2005 and was renewed every year. The last renewal was done on May 25, 2018 and was valid till March 31.
"As per information gathered from the site, it reveals that the incidence of fire accrued at second floor at around 3.30 AM on February 12 due to short-circuit," the official said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the loss of lives in a massive fire incident in a central Delhi hotel early on Tuesday.
"Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to a fire at Karol Bagh in Delhi. I convey my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives," he tweeted.
He wished for speedy recovery of the injured.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Monday claimed he was stopped at Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in a bid to prevent him from visiting Allahabad to attend an oath-taking ceremony at Allahabad University.
When asked, Airport Director AK Sharma said, "I have no such information." The matter rocked the Uttar Pradesh legislature.
As soon as Samajwadi Party members came to know about their national president being stopped at the airport, they tried to raise the matter during Question Hour in the assembly.
The members also trooped into the Well of the House due to which Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit adjourned the proceedings for 20 minutes during the Question Hour.
The matter was also raised in the Legislative Council, leading to the adjournment of the House for 25 minutes during the pre-lunch sitting.
Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge said that the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are afraid of a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe and this says volumes about them. Challenging the ruling party, Kharge told the Speaker that Congress party will prove each and every charge it laid against the government in the Rafale deal.
Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar is facing questioning in connection with the chit fund scam cases at the CBI office on Tuesday for the fourth consecutive day.
Kumar, who in being examined since Saturday, arrived shortly before 10:30am at the CBI office.
He is being questioned in connection with his role in the alleged tampering of evidence in the Saradha scam, said an official.
Kumar was examined along with former Trinamool Congress MP Kunal Ghosh for the past two days.
The questioning of Ghosh is over for the time being and he was allowed to return to Kolkata, a CBI official said.
The Kolkata Police commissioner had already spent over 24 hours in the past three days inside the highly secured CBI office, facing questions relating to Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scam cases.
The Congress on Tuesday staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha after its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Rafale deal was rejected.
Kharge tried to speak but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not allow and continued with the business of the House.
Kharge soon nudged other Congress MPs to restart the protests and they immediately trooped into the well, carrying placards and shouting slogans seeking JPC on the Rafale deal.
Alleging corruption, Kharge said a JPC probe was needed to probe the deal.
He also demanded discussion on the issue to which the Speaker said a debate had already taken place in the House.
Reliance Communication (RCom) chairman Anil Ambani leaves the Supreme Court after appearing before it in a contempt petition filed by Ericsson India over not clearing its dues of ₹550 crore after selling its assets to Reliance Jio. He will appear before SC again tomorrow.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday held former acting- chief of CBI M Nageswara Rao guilty of contempt of court, sentencing him till the rising of the apex court for the day and fined him ₹1 lakh for transferring an agency officer probing the Muzaffarpur shelter home case despite the court's embargo against the transfer of then Additional Director AK Sharma who was heading the investigation team.
A delegation led by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu submmited a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind regarding the status of implementation of assurances made in the parliament during the passing of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
The Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday issued notices to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's son, Abhijat, in connection with a petition filed against him for alleged destruction of forested areas for the construction of an eco-resort.
On February 4, Abhijit Dessai, deputy sarpanch of the Netravali panchayat, had filed a petition seeking a stay on the construction of the resort near the Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary in South Goa.
According to the petition, the project had caused destruction of the forested areas and that several laws had been by-passed and an ordinance was specially moved by the state's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government to ensure fast-tracked facilitation of the resort which is spread over nearly 90,000 sq.m.
Minister for Home and Urban Development for the national capital Satyendar Jain on Tuesday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the tragic blaze in a central Delhi hotel which devoured 17 lives, including that of a child.
The Minister, who was speaking to the media outside the hotel, said the building norms were violated by the hotel owner who had raised the hotel building to six floors against four floors allowed in the area.
A moderate earthquake of magnitude 5.1 struck the Bay of Bengal at a depth of 10 km, and 600 km east of Chennai, on Tuesday morning, IMD said.
The quake that hit the Bay at 7.02AM led to mild tremors in parts of the city.
"The epicentre was in the ocean and obviously there was no damage and as per initial assessments, it lasted for a few seconds," Deputy Director General of Meteorology, IMD, Chennai, said S Balachandran.
The resident doctors of Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College (RPGMC) at Tanda went on a pen-down strike against the state government on Tuesday demanding abolition of the bank guarantee required to pursue higher medical courses in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district, officials said.
They observed a two-hour pen-down strike in the morning and urged the government to abolish the bank guarantee rule soon, they said.
The government recently slashed half of the bond money, required for pursuing higher medical courses, to ₹5 lakh from ₹10 lakh, but doctors are demanding its full abolition, officials said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on a PIL seeking court-monitored fresh investigation into the murder of then Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra reserved the order after senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for NGO CPIL, and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta concluded their arguments.
Bhushan said that several new facts have emerged recently which required fresh investigation into the murder case.
The Solicitor General alleged that the PIL jurisdiction was being abused by the NGO for settling political scores.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who will arrive in New Delhi on Tuesday night to take part in the mega opposition rally at Jantar Mantar, will be visiting Parliament on Wednesday and participate at an official event in the city, sources said.
Banerjee will address the AAP's 'Tanashahi Hatao, Desh Bachao' (Remove Dictatorship, Save Country) rally at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.
She will then visit Trinamool Congress' office at Parliament where she is expected to meet party lawmakers and MPs from other parties, the sources said.
Banerjee will also participate at an official event in the city, details of which were yet to be shared.
She is likely to be in Delhi till Thursday, according to a party leader in Kolkata.
An illegal sand extraction unit was busted on Tuesday following information that sand was mined from the banks of Phalguni river, police said.
Sand and equipment worth ₹5 lakh and two boats were seized, the police said.
The raid was conducted by the personnel of the police department and the mines and geology department, they said.
The sand mining was on with the assistance of boat owners, the police said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred to seven-judge bench the issue of determining the correctness of minority status granted to Aligarh Muslim University.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi referred the matter to the larger bench for defining the parameters for grant of minority status to educational institutions.
The then UPA-led centre government had filed an appeal against the 2006 verdict of the Allahabad High Court holding that the varsity was not a minority institution. The varsity administration had also filed a separate plea against the high court verdict on the issue.
The BJP government at the Centre had in 2016 told the apex court that it will withdraw the appeal filed by the erstwhile UPA government.
It said a five-judge Constitution bench in 1968 in the Aziz Basha case had held that AMU was a "central university" and not a minority institution.
After the 1968 verdict, the AMU (Amendment) Act, 1981 came into force.
The Allahabad High Court had in January 2006 struck down the provision of the Act by which the university was accorded the minority status.
The Finance Ministry violated its own instructions in two cases about prior approval of CAG before concurring with re-appropriation orders for increasing funds under "Secret Service Expenditure", an audit report tabled in Lok Sabha said on Tuesday.
The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General for 2017-18 said the Finance Ministry had stated earlier that any re-appropriation of funds, which increases the provision ‘41-Secret Service Expenditure' by 25% or more of the original provision in the grant, should be done only with the prior approval of CAG.
"The audit observed two instances where Ministry of Finance violated its own orders regarding prior approval of CAG before re-appropriation," the report said.
It said total original provision as a whole under ‘41-Secret Service Expenditure' pertaining to police under Home Ministry for 2017-18 was ₹163.65 crore.
The report said that Home Ministry issued a re-appropriation order of ₹150 crore in January last year to increase the provision under the above object head with the approval of the Finance Ministry.
Samajwadi Party legislators on Tuesday sat on dharna outside the Raj Bhawan after staging a noisy protest in the UP legislature, agitated over party chief Akhilesh Yadav being denied permission to fly out of the state capital to Allahabad.
The SP legislators relented when Governor Ram Naik sent them a message that he would meet their delegation on Wednesday.
They reached the Raj Bhawan to register their protest against "undemocratic behaviour" of the BJP government and sat on the dharna.
Former CBI interim director M Nageswara Rao and the probe agency's legal advisor S Bhasuram left the courtroom after serving their day-long sentence for contempt.
The apex court held them guilty of contempt for wilfully disobeying its order by transferring CBI Joint Director A K Sharma, who was probing the Bihar shelter home sexual assault cases, as additional director general of CRPF on January 17.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi did not allow the second attempt of Attorney General K K Venugopal at 3:40 pm that the contemnor officers be allowed to leave.
The top court responded furiously to the second attempt by Venugopal seeking permission for Rao to leave.
Condemning the incident of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav being stopped at Lucknow airport, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said it happened because of "arrogant attitude of so-called BJP leaders".
"I've already spoken to @yadavakhilesh. We all condemn the arrogant attitude of the so-called #BJP leaders who didn't allow Akhilesh to address the students. Even @jigneshmevani80 was not allowed," Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle.
"Where is the democracy in our country? And they are giving lessons to everybody!" she added.
The hooch tragedy rocked the Uttarakhand Assembly for a second day on Tuesday, with the Congress staging a walkout over the government's "insensitivity" even as the speaker announced that an in-house panel will be set up to probe the incident.
Over 70 people were killed in Uttarakhand and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh after consuming spurious liquor. At least 36 people died in Uttarakhand alone.
Opposition leaders rushed into the Well of the House and raised anti-government slogans. They also sought resignations of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Excise Minister Prakash Pant over the issue.
The Opposition also alleged that Rawat and his cabinet colleagues did not deem it important to visit the families of the victims, who were mostly Scheduled Caste labourers.
Using ultra light Howitzers and indigenous Swathi weapon-locating radar, Indian Army Tuesday demonstrated its artillery firepower at the annual 'Exercise Topchi' held in Nasik.
The event took place at the vast firing ranges at Deolali Camp in the morning.
It not only showcased the artillery firepower, but also the aviation and surveillance capabilities.
In addition to the gun fire, the display of rockets, missiles, surveillance and target acquisition radars, remotely piloted aircraft and hi-tech equipments was awe-inspiring.
The precision of delivering the explosives in the target area, the coordination and timings of the firepower stunned all those present.
Latest ultra light Howitzer M-777, self-propelled gun K-9 Vajra and indigenous Swathi weapon-locating radar is testimony to the increasing lethality and technical threshold of our Army, a defence release said.
The Army's aviation assets included the indigenous advanced light helicopter, light combat helicopter, Cheetah & Chetak helicopters, it added.
The Jammu and Kashmir's governor's administration has formed a high level committee to determine the scope and size of division level offices, their staffing and location for the newly constituted division for Ladakh region.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday created a separate division for Ladakh, which had been part of the Kashmir division till now.
Ladakh will now have a separate divisional commissioner and an Inspector General of Police (IG) with a full administrative and revenue division at par with Kashmir and Jammu divisions, an order issued by the administration said on Friday.
On Sunday, thousands of people also staged a rally in Kargil and submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner, demanding that the divisional commissioner and the IGP offices function on rotational basis -- in Kargil during summers and in Leh during winters.
The Lord Ayyappa temple re-opened on Tuesday for five-day monthly pujas under a heavy security blanket as hundreds of police personnel were deployed in and around the hill shrine in view of possible protest from right-wing activists, opposing entry of young women.
Despite security arrangements, a large number of devotees, including those from neighbouring states, turned up to offer prayers when the shrine was opened at 5 pm.
Chief priest Vasudevan Nampoothiri opened the sanctum sanctorum in the presence of 'tantri' (head priest) Kandararu Rajeevaru.
The temple would remain open for five days till February 17 for the monthly pujas during the Malayalam month of Kumbam, temple authorities said.
There has been a sense of anxiety in and around Sabarimala in view of the reopening as the shrine had witnessed frenzied protests during the recently concluded annual pilgrimage season over the entry of women of menstruating age.
Though no prohibitory orders have been clamped down in and around the shrine, the entire area from the base camp to 'Sannidhanam'(temple complex) is under tight police security.
Body of Vinayak Shirsath, a builder and RTI activist, found in decomposed state at Tamini Ghat near Pune. He was missing for past couple of days and a complaint in this regard was also registered. Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the case. Further probe is underway.
BJP leader Mukul Roy on Tuesday filed an anticipatory bail application before the Calcutta High Court after being named in an FIR in the killing of a Trinamool Congress MLA in Nadia district.
Roy claimed that he was booked out of "political vendetta" and was in no way linked to the murder of Krishnaganj MLA Satyajit Biswas on Saturday.
Biswas (41), who represented Krishnaganj constituency in the West Bengal Assembly, was shot dead from point-blank range by unidentified assailants on Saturday evening inside a Saraswati puja marquee at Phoolbari area in the district, bordering Bangladesh.
Roy's lawyer Subhasish Dasgupta said the anticipatory bail plea is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday before a division bench presided over by Justice Joymalyo Bagchi.
Roy has been charged with "criminal conspiracy relating to the murder", his lawyer said.
"Roy has been implicated in about 25 criminal cases since he changed his affiliation from Trinamool Congress to BJP," Dasgupta said.
The BJP leader is one of the four persons named in the FIR relating to the killing of Biswas.
Two accused -- Kartik Mondal and Sujit Mondal -- were arrested on Sunday and have been remanded to 14 days' police custody.