Latest News LIVE updates: A day after the Election Commission disallowed any political party from entering into Cooch Behar following the death of four people in the firing of the central forces, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who earlier announced to visit Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district on Sunday, accused the poll body of hatching conspiracy against her and alleged that the restriction was imposed only to stop her from meeting the bereaved families.
Meanwhile, the NIA today arrested police officer Riyaz Kazi, an associate of suspended cop Sachin Waze, in connection with the case of an explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence.
In another news, four militants from Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and al-Badr outfits, including those involved in the killing of an off-duty Territorial Army soldier in Anantnag on Friday, were gunned down on Sunday in two encounters with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
Earlier in the day, the union government suspended the export of Remdesivir injections and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the coronavirus situation improves in the country.
Farmers ready to talk if govt invites, no change in demands: Rakesh Tikait
Farmers protesting the contentious new farm laws are ready to talk if the Centre invites them, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said on Sunday, maintaining that the dialogue would resume where it had ended on January 22 and the demands remain unchanged.
He said for the talks to resume, the government should invite the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body representing the protestors who are camping at the three border points of Delhi at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur since November 2020.
“The talks with the government would resume from the same point where it had ended on January 22. The demands are also the same -- all three 'black' farm laws should be repealed, a new law made to ensure MSP (minimum support price) for crops,” Tikait was quoted as saying in a statement issued by BKU media in-charge Dharmendra Malik.
The BKU national spokesperson's remarks came in response to Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij urging Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to resume talks with protesting farmers amid the coronavirus scare looming large.
Maintaining that a surge in the coronavirus cases is being seen across the country and the situation is turning bad in Haryana too, Vij said he is worried about the farmers protesting on the state borders with Delhi.
UP panchayat elections: Poll candidate's supporter held for distributing liquor among voters
A supporter of a panchayat election candidate was arrested for allegedly distributing liquor among voters, while a policeman was suspended for not taking action against the poll code violation, an official said on Sunday.
Sambhal Superintendent of Police Chakresh Mishra said in-charge of Madhan police outpost Narendra Kumar was suspended for not stopping supporters of a village pradhan aspirant from distributing liquor among voters.
The additional SP will investigate the matter further, he said.
Naresh, the supporter of the candidate, was arrested and a case was registered against him.
Body of girl found in UP
The body of a 13-year-old girl was found near a pond in Baundi police station area here, police said on Sunday.
A tractor driver has been arrested for abducting and killing the girl, they said.
Superintendent of Police Sujata Singh said the body was found on Saturday.
The accused used to drive the tractor of the victim's father. On the day of the incident, he had offered a lift to the girl, she said.
The officer said a case under sections of IPC and POCSO has been registered against the accused.
RMZ Corp inks JV with CPP Investments to build office complexes
Realty firm RMZ Corp has tied up with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to develop office complexes in Chennai and Hyderabad and the latter will invest Rs 1,500 crore (USD 210 million) in the joint venture.
Bengaluru-based RMZ Corp, which is one of the leading commercial real estate player, said it has entered into a joint venture with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) to develop and hold commercial office space in Chennai and Hyderabad.
"CPP Investments will invest Rs 1500 crore (USD 210 million), which will allow for the expected development of 10.4 million square feet of high-quality commercial office sites," RMZ said.
Both the partners will have an equal stake in the JV firm.
The value of the partnership assets, once developed, is estimated to be over USD 1.5 billion, said Manoj Menda, Corporate Chairman, RMZ Corp.
"The partnership with CPP Investments, a globally respected institutional investor, will only strengthen our vision of achieving our hyper-growth strategy target of RMZ 2.0," Menda said.
RMZ is amongst the only zero-debt real estate companies globally, said Arshdeep Sethi, Managing Director, RMZ Corp.
More Cooch Behar-like killings possible if 'naughty boys' try to take law into their hands: Dilip Ghosh
West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Sunday courted fresh controversy by saying that more Cooch Behar-like killings may happen in the next phase of assembly elections if "naughty boys like the ones who died in Sitalkuchi" try to take the law into their hands.
Strongly reacting to the BJP leader's statement, TMC demanded his arrest while the CPI(M) said the comment "unmasks the saffron party's fascist face".
"Naughty boys received bullets at Sitalkuchi. If anyone dares to take the law into his hands, this will happen to him also," Ghosh said without elaborating on the phrase 'naughty boys'.
"The naughty boys, who had presumed that the rifles of the central forces were just for a show during election duty, will not dare repeat the same mistake after seeing what happened in Sitalkuchi," he said, while addressing an election rally at Baranagar in North 24 Parganas district.
Four persons died as CISF personnel opened fire after some people "attempted to snatch their rifles" while voting was underway in Sitalkuchi assembly constituency area in the fourth phase on Saturday.
"On April 17 (date of fifth phase of polling) as well, the central forces will be at the booths. Sitalkuchi-like incidents may happen if people try to take the law into their hands," he said.
His comment triggered protest with TMC demanding his immediate arrest.
West Bengal registered 79.90% polling in fourth phase
West Bengal registered 79.90 per cent polling during the fourth phase of assembly elections held in 44 constituencies spread across five districts, state chief electoral officer Ariz Aftab said on Sunday.
The highest turnout of 84.76 per cent was registered in Cooch Behar district while it was 82.54 per cent in Alipurduar during the polling held on Saturday, he said.
While in Hooghly the turnout was recorded at 79.75 per cent, it was 77.25 per cent in South Parganas and 77.24 per cent in Howrah, the CEO said.
Flight loads drop below 100 for four straight days as flyers defer travel
The average number of passengers per flight fell below 100 on four consecutive days last week as Maharashtra introduced tight restrictions to control Covid-19.
Travel demand has been under pressure since March and while the number of passengers per flight declined to under 100 on three occasions last month too, it fell successively four days last week indicating further weakening of demand. READ MORE...
'Bhoomi Putra' of Bengal will only become Chief Minister: Amit Shah
'Bhoomi Putra' of Bengal will only become the Chief Minister of Bengal: Union Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah during a town hall meeting at Kamarhati, North 24 Parganas district pic.twitter.com/60YKJHSujn
Ready to resign only if people of Bengal ask me to do so: Amit Shah on Cooch Behar killings
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that he is ready to resign from his post only if the people of West Bengal ask him to do so.
The senior BJP leader, however, asserted that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will have to quit on May 2 as the Trinamool Congress will lose the ongoing assembly elections.
The TMC chief has demanded Shah's resignation over the killing of four people in firing by CISF personnel during the fourth phase of voting in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district on Saturday.
Rahul Gandhi to campaign in West Bengal from April 14
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will begin campaigning in West Bengal from April 14 and address rallies in Goalpokhar and Matigara-Naxalbari in the state, an ANI report said.
The former Congress president will start the campaign after four phases of polling for assembly elections has ended in the state where the party is contesting on 92 seats in alliance with the Left.
Meanwhile, 45 Assembly segments will go to polls in the fifth phase which is scheduled for April 17. The sixth round for 43 seats would be held on April 22. In the seventh phase, polling will be held for 35 constituencies on April 26. The eighth and final round of elections is scheduled for April 29, when the remaining 35 assembly segments would go to the polls. The results will be declared on May 2.
Cairn Energy offers to forego $500 mn if India agrees to pay principal due
UK's Cairn Energy Plc has offered to forego USD 500 million and invest that amount in any oil and gas or renewable energy project identified by the Indian government if New Delhi agrees to honour an international arbitration award and returns the value of loss it incurred because of being taxed retrospectively, sources said.
The Scottish firm invested in the oil and gas sector in India in 1994 and a decade later it made a huge oil discovery in Rajasthan. In 2006-07, it listed its Indian assets on the BSE. Five years after that the government passed a retroactive tax law and billed Cairn Rs 10,247 crore plus interest and penalty for the reorganisation tied to the flotation. READ ON...
Cooch Behar incident result of conspiracy hatched by BJP to intimidate voters: Mamata
Urging people not to vote for "trigger-happy BJP", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday claimed that the tragedy in Cooch Behar was the "result of a conspiracy" hatched by the saffron party to intimidate voters.
Amid polling for the fourth phase of elections on Saturday, four persons died in Sitalkuchi area of Cooch Behar when CISF personnel opened fire allegedly after coming under attack from locals, who "attempted to snatch their rifles", the police had said.
Four terrorists killed in encounters in Anantnag and Shopian in Jammu and Kashmir
Four militants from Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and al-Badr outfits, including those involved in the killing of an off-duty Territorial Army soldier in Anantnag on Friday, were gunned down on Sunday in two encounters with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
With this, the death toll in the encounters that began on Saturday in Anantnag and Shopian has climbed to five as one militant was killed in the initial exchange of fire.
Towseef Ahmad Bhat and Aamir Hussain Ganie, both from Bijbehara and linked to the LeT, were killed at village Semthan in the Bijbehara area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district after they refused to surrender and fired indiscriminately on a search party, the police said.
West Bengal Polls: Mamata Banerjee will have to resign on May 2, says Amit Shah
Didi is repeatedly saying Amit Shah must resign. Didi when people will ask me to resign then I will. But you must prepare as you will have to resign on May 2: Union Minister & BJP leader Amit Shah in Basirhat Dakshin #WestBengalElections2021pic.twitter.com/1VVOStfaSE
Terrorists killed in Anantnag encounter refused to surrender
The two terrorists who were killed in an encounter with police and army in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday were given an opportunity to surrender but they indiscriminately fired upon the security forces that led to the gun fight, police said. On Saturday, Anantnag Police acting on specific input regarding presence of terrorists in a residential house at village Semthan area of Bijbehara, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, army's 3 RR and 90 Bn of the CRPF.
"During the search operation, as the presence of terrorists got ascertained they were given an opportunity to surrender, however they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter," police said.
The joint teams also rescued all the civilians trapped in the gunfire and halted the operation for the night.
NIA special holiday court sends accused Riyaz Qazi, Sachin Waze's associate, to NIA custody till April 16
NIA special holiday court sends accused Riyaz Qazi, Sachin Waze's associate, to NIA custody till April 16
Unfortunate to see appeasement politics even in case of deaths: Amit Shah on Sitalkuchi killings
Unfortunate to see appeasement politics even in case of deaths: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sitalkuchi killings
EC stopped me from going to Sitalkuchi: Mamata Banerjee
A day after the Election Commission disallowed any political party from entering into Cooch Behar following the death of four people in the firing of the central forces, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who earlier announced to visit Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district on Sunday, accused the poll body of hatching conspiracy against her and alleged that the restriction was imposed only to stop her from meeting the bereaved families.
"What has happened in Sitalkuchi is a complete genocide and what the commission is doing after that is unprecedented. First, they have killed people and now they are trying to hush up all the evidence. They are only trying to satisfy the BJP. They imposed this restriction only to stop me from meeting the bereaved families," chief minister Mamata Banerjee said in a press conference in Siliguri on Sunday morning.
West Bengal polls LIVE: Amit Shah holds a roadshow in Ranaghat Dakshin
Ambani security scare: NIA arrests Waze's associate Riyaz Kazi
The NIA on Sunday arrested police officer Riyaz Kazi, an associate of suspended cop Sachin Waze, in connection with the case of an explosives-laden SUV found near industrialist Mukesh Ambani's residence, a police official said.
Assistant police inspector (API) Kazi was called for questioning again by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday and later placed under arrest, he said.
He was previously also questioned by the NIA in connection with the case of the SUV with explosives found near Ambani's residence in south Mumbai on February 25 and the subsequent death of Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran.
West Bengal polls: Amit Shah holds roadshow in Shantipur
Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a roadshow in Shantipur in Nadia district that witnessed a huge crowd on Sunday. Thousands of supporters carrying BJP flags participated in the roadshow. The polling in the Shantipur constituency will be held in the fifth phase of the West Bengal Assembly election on April 17. BJP has fielded Jagannath Sarkar against TMC's Ajoy Dey and Congress' Riju Ghosal.
Shah will also hold roadshows in Ranaghat Dakshin and Panihati later on Sunday.
45 Assembly segments will go to polls in the fifth phase which is scheduled for April 17. The sixth round for 43 seats would be held on April 22. 35 constituencies will go to polls in the seventh phase elections on April 26. The eighth and final round of elections is scheduled for April 29, when the remaining 35 assembly segments would go to the polls. The Election Commission of India would declare the results on May 2.
Elections in West Bengal have been conducted peacefully so far: Amit Shah
Except for this one incident (Sitalkuchi), elections in West Bengal have been conducted peacefully so far. I promise that after BJP comes to power here political and poll-related violence will end in Bengal: Union Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah pic.twitter.com/A69mPT03W0
I spoke to families of deceased in firing incident over video call sitting in Siliguri: West Bengal CM Mamata
I am a Royal Bengal Tiger. They didn't let me go (to Cooch Behar). I talked to them (families of deceased in firing incident) over video call sitting in Siliguri: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Jalpaiguri pic.twitter.com/GsZ1ZhPcXI
EC trying to suppress facts by barring entry of politicians in Cooch Behar: Mamata
Describing the incident of firing in Cooch Behar as a "genocide", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said the Election Commission has restricted the entry of politicians in the district for 72 hours as it seeks to "suppress facts".
The TMC supremo, while addressing a press meet here, claimed that central forces "sprayed bullets aiming at the torso of the victims" in Sitalkuchi area, when the fourth phase of polling was underway in the state.
Govt may hike FDI limit in pension to 74%: Report
The government may hike foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the pension sector to 74 per cent and a Bill in this regard is expected to come in the next Parliament session, PTI reported quoting unnamed sources. Parliament approved in March a Bill to increase FDI limit in insurance from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.
EC trying to suppress facts in Cooch Behar: Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says central government’s security forces "sprayed bullets aiming at the torso of the victims" in Sitalkuchi of Cooch Behar where elections were held on Saturday. "There was genocide at Sitalkuchi. I would like to visit Sitalkuchi by April 14. The EC is trying to suppress facts by restricting entry in Cooch Behar. We have an incompetent home minister and an incompetent central government," Banerjee said, referring to the Election Commission.
Lulu Group chief, wife safe after chopper crash lands in Kerala: ANI
A helicopter carrying M A Yusuff Ali, the Indian-origin chief of Dubai-headquartered Lulu Group, and his wife crash-landed near Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) campus in Panangad, ANI reported. "All are safe," hospital authorities told the news agency.
Iran reports 'accident' at electric grid of nuclear facility
A spokesman for Iran's civilian nuclear programme says an accident has struck the electrical distribution grid of the country's Natanz nuclear facility, without elaborating. Behrouz Kamalvandi made the comment Sunday, saying there were no injuries nor pollution caused by the incident.
Amit Shah has 6 rallies in Bengal today
Home Minister Amit Shah will speak at six rallies in West Bengal on Sunday, campaigning for the BJP after four people were killed a day before in Cooch Behar district during the fourth phase of elections in the state. The Election Commission of India has banned the entry of politicians in Cooch Behar for the next 72 hours to prevent violence.
US, Philippines discuss concerns over China's ships in South China Sea
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed with his Philippine counterpart China''s recent positioning of “militia vessels” near the Philippines in the South China Sea. Austin spoke by phone with Philippine Secretary of National Defence Delfin Lorenzana while Austin was flying from Washington to Israel to begin an international trip, the Associated Press reports.
Call off protests amid Covid surge, govt ready for talks: Tomar to farmers
Amid a spike in Covid-19 cases, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar appealed to the farmers protesting at Delhi borders to call off their long-running agitation, saying the government is ready for a discussion whenever they come with a concrete proposal.
Thousands of farmers have been protesting against the three new agri-marketing laws for nearly five months now, braving the raging pandemic. There has been no headway in the logjam over the issue since January 22, when the 11th and the last round of formal talks happened between the Central government and the protesting farmer unions.
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