Friday, 26 Apr, 10.01 am National Herald

LIVE news updates: Refugees from Muslim countries now find Sri Lanka less friendly

Refugees from Muslim countries now find Sri Lanka less friendly

Life has again turned bitter for refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran in the wake of the Easter Sunday bloodbath in Sri Lanka.

Ever since the suicide bombings killed over 250 people, most of the 800 refugees from the three Muslim countries living in Negombo, one of the three cities targeted on April 21, have been forced to vacate their homes and take shelter with the police.

The refugees accept that Sri Lankans must indeed be angry that innocent people praying in churches -- besides others -- were targeted by Islamic radicals but ask what their crime was, the Daily Mirror reported.

Two killed in freak accident

In a freak road accident, two people died when they fell off a two-wheeler after the door of a parked mini-truck hit them as it was opened suddenly, police said Friday.

After falling off, the riders - a man and a woman relative - came under the wheels of a tipper lorry. The man died on the spot while the woman succumbed to injuries in hospital, the police said.

The tragedy occurred when the driver of the mini-truck opened the door suddenly and the riders rammed into it and were run over by the tipper-lorry coming behind.

A case of causing death by negligence has been registered against the mini-truck driver and investigation was on, they added.

High alert in Bengaluru, Mysuru after Sri Lanka blasts

Bengaluru and Mysuru in southern Karnataka are on high alert with security tightened in the aftermath of the serial blasts in Sri Lanka on April 21, a top police official said on Friday.

"We have deployed additional forces in all sensitive areas, religious places, markets, malls, shopping plazas, multiplexes, airport, railway station, inter-state bus terminal and public places to prevent untoward incidents," Bengaluru Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar told IANS here.

Though the city was already on alert with extra vigil and more security for the April 18 Lok Sabha election in the state's central and southern regions, the city and state police are not taking chances.

39-year old Man held for link to killings of four members of RSS, affiliates in Karnataka: Police

A 39-year old man has been arrested in Mysuru for alleged involvement in the killing of four members of RSS and its affiliate organisations in Karnataka in the past 11 years, police said on Friday.

Atique Ahmed Sharif alias Timber Atique, a resident of Lashkar Mohalla in Mysuru, was arrested Thursday by the Central Crime Branch and the local police.

While he was arrested following investigation into the killing of Raju of Kyatamaranahalli in Mysuru in 2016, during interrogation his link to the fatal attack on three others came to light, police said.

He is involved in four murder cases and one attempt to murder case, Mysuru Commissioner of Police K T Balakrishna told PTI.

He however, refused to divulge further details, saying the investigation into the cases was at a crucial stage.

NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of police action in Howrah

Missing man found dead in Muzaffarnagar

A 20-year-old man who went missing three days ago was found dead in a field in Bhojaheri village in the district on Friday, police said.

The deceased was identified as Rahul and his body has been sent for post-mortem, SHO, Purkazi police station, Yogesh Sharma said.

A case has been registered and investigation is underway, he added.

The post-mortem report will help to identify if the man committed suicide or was murdered, the SHO said

12 lakh recovered during checking in Himachal

The surveillance team formed in view of Lok Sabha election recovered Rs 12 lakh in cash from a vehicle during a checking in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district on Friday, an official said.

The cash was recovered from a car, bearing a Punjab registration number, in Bhattu area of Sulah assembly segment, said district Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kumar.

Kumar said the cash was seized after the car's owner was not able to produce any valid document.

PepsiCo proposes settlement to Guj potato farmers sued by it

Food and beverages giant PepsiCo Friday offered to settle lawsuits against four farmers who it has dragged to court for allegedly illegally growing a variety of potatoes "registered" by the company.

Nine farmers from Sabarkantha and Aravalli districts are being sued by PepsiCo for allegedly growing a variety of potatoes for which it has claimed Plant Variety Protection (PVP) rights.

During a hearing in the commercial court here Friday, the firm offered to settle the dispute if the farmers gave an undertaking to purchase this specific variety of seeds from the company and thereafter sell the potato produced to it.

Water availability in 91 major reservoirs down to 26%

Total water availability in 91 major reservoirs in the country has reduced to 26 per cent of their actual storage capacity, the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday.

The total live storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs that are monitored by Central Water Commission is 161.99 BCM (billion cubic metre) and the water availability as on April 25 is 42.53 BCM or 26 per cent, it said.

However, the situation is better this year, Ministry said, as the storage was 37.31 BCM during the corresponding period last year.

The average of last 10 years live storage is 41.074 BCM.

Bay of Bengal depression to turn into cyclonic storm

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday said the depression over the East Equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal lay centred at about 1,440 km southeast of Chennai.

According to the IMD, the depression is very likely to intensify further into a deep depression during the next 24 hours and turn into a cyclonic storm during the subsequent 12 hours.

The storm, thereafter, is very likely to move northwestwards off the Sri Lanka coast during next 96 hours and reach north Tamil Nadu and the south Andhra Pradesh coast on the evening of April 30.

Two scribes attacked in separate incidents in Assam

Two journalists, including a woman, have come under attack in separate incidents in Nalbari and Tinsukia districts of Assam, a police officer said on Friday.

Rajen Deka, a correspondent with Assamese daily 'Dainik Asom', was assaulted with sharp weapons Thursday night allegedly by BJP activist Ripul Deka alias Baba at Tegheriattari village of Nalbari, he said.

"Rajen, who was on his way home, sustained serious injuries on his head, chest, wrist and arms. He is currently undergoing treatment at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital," the officer said.

The BJP activist, accompanied by some youths, managed to escape in an auto-rickshaw after the attack, he said

Noida police launch initiative to review dragging cases

In a new initiative to expedite the resolution of cases dragging for long, Noida police started a dedicated programme Friday to review sensitive matters once a week in the presence of the complainant and the investigating officials.

The "Vaadi Diwas" (or the plaintiff's day) will be organised every week in urban police stations on Wednesdays and in rural areas on Fridays, said Senior Superintendent of Police, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Vaibhav Krishna.

He said cases of murder, loot (including snatching, cash or jewellery loot, auto lifting) and theft of more than Rs 5 lakh will be heard on priority basis.

2 injured in explosion at Tata Steel plant in UK

Two people suffered minor injuries in a pre-dawn explosion at a Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot in Wales, the UK's largest steelworks, police said on Friday as workers' unions called for a full review before production work is resumed.

The blast occurred around 0335 GMT, with emergency fire crews rushing to battle the blaze. South Wales Police confirmed that all workers had been accounted for after an explosion from a train carrying molten metal into the works caused "small fires".

"Emergency services remain on scene but we have had confirmation that all members of staff are accounted for and there are only two casualties with minor injuries," South Wales Police said in a statement.

"Early indications are that the seat of the explosion was a train which carries molten metal into the works. The explosion caused some small fires which are all under control and damage to some buildings on the site," the statement noted.

Workaholic Japan to go on unprecedented 10-day break

Japanese workers, known to be workaholics with frequent cases of "karoshi" or death by overworking, will from Saturday begin an unprecedented 10-day break with special days off combined with traditional Golden Week.

The Golden Week of holidays, held every year around the same dates, is the longest generalized annual work break for many Japanese and lasts about a week, reports Efe news.

However, this year several national holidays falling close to the celebrations marking the abdication of Emperor Akihito and the succession to the throne of his son Prince Naruhito have led to an unusual accumulation of non-working days.

Former HP minister Chaudhary Vidyasagar dies at 84

Former Himachal Pradesh minister and senior BJP leader Chaudhary Vidyasagar passed away at the age of 84 in Kangra near Dharamshala, a family member said.

He was undergoing treatment for age-related ailments for a few days and died on Thursday night at his home in Zamanabad area, the family member said.

An OBC leader in the region, Vidyasagar was a four-time MLA from Kangra assembly constituency and worked as a minister in the state governments led by Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, ex-CM Dhumal and Shanta Kumar have deeply mourned his death.

Three get life term for killing man

A court in UP's Muzaffarnagar has sentenced three men to life imprisonment for murdering a man about three years ago.

District Sessions Judge Sanjay Kumar Pachori also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh each on Sunil alias Pappu and Sunder and Rs 20,000 on Tasleem after holding them guilty under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal code.

The court has directed that 95 per cent of the total amount should be paid to the family of the deceased.

CBI arrested a Preventive Officer, Customs Goa, PP Gupta in a Disproportionate Assets case

SC stays inquiry commission proceedings into Jayalalithaa's death at Apollo Hospitals

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the proceedings of an inquiry commission set up to probe the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, in 2016.

The Madras High Court on April 4 rejected Apollo Hospitals' objections to the setting up of the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry that was empowered to probe "the appropriateness, efficacy, adequacy or inadequacy of the treatment given to Jayalalithaa during her 75-day hospitalisation in 2016".

The then Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo had died allegedly of massive cardiac arrest on December 5, 2016 at Apollo Hospitals.

Mallya's extradition, UK High Court to hear liquor tycoon's plea on July 2

Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya has been allocated July 2 as the date for a brief hearing to convince a High Court judge that he should be given permission to proceed to a full-blown appeal process against his extradition to India to face alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores.

The 63-year-old former Kingfisher Airlines boss had filed the "renewal application" earlier this month after he failed in his first written attempt seeking leave to appeal in the High Court. The renewal involves a short oral hearing before a High Court judge, now scheduled for July 2, where his lawyers will further plead his case against being extradited to India.

"A date for the oral consideration has been set for July 2," a UK court official said on Friday.

Factories sealed for violating pollution-control norms

Seven factories were sealed in Haridwar district Friday for not complying with pollution-control norms, a senior administration official said.

The factories were sealed for not complying with norms set by the Central Pollution Control Board, said Haridwar District Magistrate Deepak Rawat.

The factories included Sharda Motors Industries, Star Industries, Shree Metal Finisher, Micro Turner, Avina Mill and PS Motor, he said.

Maoists trigger blast in BJP election office in J'khand Medininagar

Suspected Maoists on Friday triggered a blast in an election office of the BJP at Hariharganj area of Palamu district, knocking down a part of its wall, a police officer said.

Nobody was present inside the election office during the incident, he said.

"Preliminary investigation suggests that armed rebels came on motorcycles around midnight, planted a bomb inside the party's office and triggered the blast," Chhatarpur Sub- divisional Police Officer Shambhu Kumar Singh said.

Several Maoist pamphlets, calling for poll boycott in the region, have been found lying at the blast site, he said

70% flights cancelled in Sweden, Denmark, Norway

A total of 1,409 Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) pilots from Sweden, Norway and Denmark went on strike on Friday, causing 673 cancellations so far and over 70,000 passengers affected.

SAS warned that the continuing strike could affect a further 100,000 passengers over the weekend, reports Xinhua news agency.

In the early hours of Friday, last-minute salary negotiations between SAS and the Swedish Air Line Pilots Association broke down. As a result, 492 Swedish SAS pilots went on strike, followed by 545 Norwegian and 372 Danish colleagues.

Sri Lankan government says fears up to $1.5 billion tourism losses over blasts

Court dismisses Yasin Malik's plea to shift case

Justice Sanjay Gupta of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by the banned Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik to transfer the trial of a 30-year-old case against the separatist leader from Jammu to Srinagar.

The High Court had earlier ordered the shifting of the trial involving the killing of an air force official in Srinagar to Jammu.

Yasin Malik is an accused in the case against whom the trial is currently being held in Jammu.

Australian counter-terrorism police arrest 2 outside church

Australia's counter-terrorism officers on Friday arrested two persons including a woman during an operation near a church here.

A Victoria Police spokesperson, however, said that there was "no current or impending threat to the community".

"The Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) Melbourne can confirm it is conducting operational activity in North Melbourne today (Friday)," the official said.

Two two people were "assisting with inquiries", he said.

The man was taken away after being placed in a white forensic suit while the woman was also cuffed and arrested, Australian news website reported.

Afghans killed more by pro-government forces than Taliban

Pro-government forces in Afghanistan have killed more civilians in the first three months of 2019 than the Taliban and other insurgent groups, the UN said in a report.\

It was the first time since the UN began tracking civilian casualties in Afghanistan over a decade ago that the pro-government forces have caused a majority of deaths, reports the Guardian on Friday.

Overall 581 civilians were killed and 1,192 injured in Afghanistan between January and March, down nearly a quarter from a year earlier, and at the lowest level since 2013.

That fall was largely driven by a reduction in suicide attacks, the UN said.

Armenian trans activist gets death threats after speech

Armenia's first registered transgender woman has said that she received death threats after making a historic speech in her country's national assembly against discrimination meted out to the LGBTI in the country, the media reported on Friday.

Lilit Martirosyan became the first member of her country's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community to take to the parliamentary podium, speaking at a session of its committee on human rights. A video of the speech has been shared around the world, reports the Guardian.

In her speech two weeks ago, Martirosyan expressed solidarity with the community that has been "tortured, raped, kidnapped, subjected to physical violence, burned, immolated, knifed, subjected to murder attempt, killed, emigrated, and robbed".

Mulayam Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party patriarch, rushed to hospital in Lucknow

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was rushed to hospital in Lucknow today. Multiple media reports have said that Yadav has been admitted to emergency ward in PGI, Lucknow. Yadav was last seen attending a joint rally with rival-turned-ally Mayawati in Mainpuri last week.

12 vehicles (10 vehicles of Nirav Modi Group and 2 vehicles of Mehul Choksi Group) successfully bid for Rs. 3.29 crore in e-auction

As per PMLA Court's order, 12 vehicles (10 vehicles of Nirav Modi Group and 2 vehicles of Mehul Choksi Group) successfully bid for Rs. 3.29 crore (approximately) in e-auction conducted through Metal Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC).

Sensex rallies 336.47 pts to close at 39,067.33; Nifty climbs 112.85 pts to 11,754.65

NS Vikramaditya catches fire, naval officer dies

An Indian Navy officer died on Friday while trying to put out a fire on INS Vikramaditya when the ship was entering the Karwar harbour in Karnataka, the government said.

Indian Navy says, "One officer dead during fire fighting ops onboard aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in Karwar, Karnataka. Navy has ordered a Board of Inquiry to probe the incident. Fire was controlled by its crew preventing any serious damage to the warship's combat capability."

Apoorva Tiwari (wife of Rohit Shekhar Tiwari) sent to 14-day judicial custody by Delhi's Saket Court.

Face of Rana Plaza rescue operation commits suicide

A Bangladeshi activist, who rescued dozens of people during the infamous 2013 Rana Plaza disaster that killed over 1,100 people, has committed suicide by setting himself ablaze after pouring kerosene, police said on Friday.

Nowshad Hasan Himu, 27, set himself ablaze on Wednesday night, apparently after suffering years of trauma-related depression, and was found on fire by neighbours outside his rented house at Birulia in Ashulia area near Dhaka.

"We have sent his body to Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital morgue," Dhaka Tribune quoted Savar police station Sub-Inspector Asgar Ali as saying.

Ali said Himu set himself on fire after pouring kerosene on himself on the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy.

Fugitive Businessman Nirav Modi's bail rejected by London Court, next date of hearing in the case is May 24

J&K orders transfer of three senior police officers

After obtaining mandatory permission from the Election Commission, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday ordered the transfer of three senior police officers.

An order issued by the Home Department said the the officers were D.R. Doley, A.K. Choudhary and Mohd Farid.

Doley has been posted as the Chairman and Managing Director of the Jammu and Kashmir Police Housing Corp, Choudhury as the Additional Director General of Police at the police headquarters and Farid as the Commandant of Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police (7th Batallion), according to an official order.

Narayan Sai, son of Asaram found guilty in a rape case, by Surat Sessions Court

A Gujarat court on Friday convicted Narayan Sai, son of jailed self-styled godman Asaram, in a rape case.

The sessions court in Surat which convicted Narayan Sai will pronounce the sentence on April 30.

In 2013, two Surat-based sisters approached police alleging they were raped by Asaram Bapu and his son Narayan Sai.

One of them had accused Narayan Sai of repeatedly raping her between 2002 and 2005 when she was living at his ashram. Asaram has been convicted in a rape case in Jodhpur and is serving a life term.

Indian becomes 3rd Dubai expat killed in SL blasts

The Consul General of India to Dubai, Vipul has confirmed that Juno Srivastava, the missing Dubai-based Indian expatriate, was killed in Sri Lanka's Easter Sunday bombings.

Srivastava checked into the the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on April 20, along with his colleague British colleague Lorraine Campbell, who was confirmed dead by her family members on Wednesday.

Customs seizes gold worth ₹79 lakh from Delhi airport's washroom

Gold worth about ₹79 lakh was seized from a washroom at Delhi airport, customs officials said on Friday.

A man has been arrested by the customs for his alleged involvement in smuggling of the gold, they said.

Acting on inputs, the customs department intercepted the accused after his arrival at the airport from Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. During enquiry, he admitted to have brought gold to India.

SC adjourns PIL seeking compensation and relief for acid attack victims for 4 weeks

Supreme Court today adjourned for four weeks a PIL seeking direction to the Centre and others for enhancement of compensation, immediate relief, jobs, medical facilities and other rehabilitation steps to acid attack victims.

BSF trooper attempts suicide in Srinagar

A Border Security Force (BSF) trooper on Friday tried to commit suicide in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar district, police said.

He tried to commit suicide inside a camp in Qamarwari area of Srinagar city by using his service rifle, police sources said.

"He was immediately shifted to hospital where doctors described his condition as stable," sources said.

Fire breaks out in Kolkata building

A fire broke out in a four-storeyed building on Friday in south Kolkata's bustling Chowringhee Road, an official said. No casualty has been reported yet.

"The firefighters soon reached the site and the situation is now almost under control. A portion of the rooftop had collapsed, but there is no report of any person being trapped inside," said Director General (DG) of fire brigade Jag Mohan.

The fire broke out at around 9.20 a.m. and 12 engines have been deployed at the site.

SC stays proceedings of inquiry commission, set up to probe death of TN CM J Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospitals

Sri Lanka police chief resigns over bombings

Sri Lanka's top police official, Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, has resigned over failures that led to the deadly Easter bomb attacks, the country's president said on Friday.

"The IGP has resigned. He has sent his resignation to the acting defence secretary. I'll nominate a new IGP soon," President Maithripala Sirisena told reporters.

Sirisena's nominee has to be confirmed by a constitutional council.

SC directs RBI to disclose information about annual inspection report of banks under RTI unless they are exempted under law

The Supreme Court on Friday gave the RBI "one last opportunity" and ordered the Reserve Bank of India to disclose annual inspection reports, wilful defaulters' list under the Right To Information Act.
The top court also ordered the central bank to withdraw its non-disclosure policy, which the court concluded is in violation of the apex court's judgment in 2015.

Wanted Sri Lanka radical cleric Hashim died in hotel attack

Sri Lanka's president Maithripala Sirisena says prosecuting military intelligence officials weakened national security

Sri Lanka's president Maithripala Sirisena says prosecuting military intelligence officials after civil war weakened national security. The government should take responsibility for Easter attacks after weakening the intelligence service.

Key info on Sri Lanka attacks revealed by arrested suspects

Sri Lankan security authorities have extracted vital information from the terror suspects arrested in connection with Easter Sunday bombings, the media reported on Friday.

A person arrested in Dambulla has been identified as the second-in-command of the terror network operated by local Muslim group, the National Thowheed Jamath (NJT), the Daily Mirror reported.

Investigations have also revealed that military training for the assailants was provided by a person called Army Mohideen while weapons training was conducted overseas and at some local locations in the Eastern Province, Nuwara Eliya and Wanathawilluwa.

Two injured in explosion at TATA steel plant in UK

A "huge" explosion was reported at the TATA Steelworks plant, Port Talbot, Wales.

The South Wales Police department, United Kingdom, tweeted, "We are aware of an incident in TATA Steelworks plant, Port Talbot. Emergency services are in attendance and further information will be released shortly."

"At this time we believe there are only two casualties with minor injuries." they added.

Fire broke out in canteen at Gwalior railway station, today

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