Last Updated : Feb 15 2019 11:11PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Supreme sacrifice of security forces will not go in vain, assures PM            Home Minister visits J&K following Pulwama attack            New Delhi calls back its Islamabad envoy for consultations            India withdraws Most Favoured Nation status from Pakistan            PM launches projects worth Rs 20000 crore in UP's Jhansi           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
17.12.2018
THE HEADLINES
  • Delhi High Court convicts congress leader Sajjan Kumar in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case; Sentences him to life imprisonment.
  • Ashok Gehlot sworn-in as Rajasthan Chief Minister; Kamal Nath to take oath as Madhya Pradesh CM and Bhupesh Baghel as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih hold delegation- level talks in New Delhi; Four MoUs signed.
  • Rajya Sabha adjourned for the day over Cauvery issue and other matters; Lok Sabha adjourned till 2PM.
  • Cyclone Phethai to make landfall at Andhra Pradesh coast; Heavy rainfall and high velocity wind predicted in four coastal districts.
  • And in cricket, India need 287 runs to win the Perth test against Australia.

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The Delhi High Court today convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar for conspiracy to commit murder in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and sentenced him to imprisonment for life.
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel convicted Kumar for criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony.  The court said Kumar's life imprisonment will be for the remainder of his life and asked him to surrender by 31st of this month. It also asked him not to leave Delhi before that. 
The conviction of five others --  former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal, former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar-- were also upheld by the high court.
The high court was hearing the appeals filed by the CBI, riots victims and the convicts, challenging a trial court's judgement in the case in which Kumar was acquitted.   
The riots broke out after the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
Most political leaders have welcomed the Court's verdict awarding life sentence to Sajjan Kumar. Senior BJP leader and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the cover-ups on Sajjan Kumars conviction are now being defeated. Talking to reporters in New Delhi today, he said, the legacy of the riots hangs around the Congress and the Gandhi family. Mr Jaitley said:- 
"The judgement of the Delhi High Court today is an extremely welcome development. For many of us who are witnesses to what happened in Delhi and several parts of the country in 1984 , it was perhaps the worst kind of genocide that we ever saw and instead of ensuring that justice is done to the victims and the guilty are punished, the Congress government repeatedly during that period indulged in a cover up exercise."
Information and Broadcasting Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore said the Court's verdict is a proof of Congress's complicity in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. In a tweet, Mr Rathore said justice has finally been delivered.
Shiromani Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra demanded that other congress leaders involved in the crime be prosecuted. He also demanded that Congress remove Kamal Nath from the Chief Ministership of Madhya Pradesh for his alleged role in the riots.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the verdict has nothing to do with politics. 
"ये पुरानी कार्यवाही है। कम से कम 20 साल से अलग-अलग विभिन् कार्यवाहिया चल रही है। उसमें से एक का निर्णय आज आया है। कानूनी कार्यवाही चलनी चाहिए, चल रही है।  इसके बाद अपीलें होती है, तो मैं नहीं समझता कि इसमें राजनीतिक टिप्पणी  करके राजनीतिक लाभ या राजनीतिक दुरूपयोग किया जाए।"
Congress leader Kapil Sibal was said politics should not be played on Sajjan Kumar’s conviction. Talking to reporters, outside Parliament, Sibal said Sajjan Kumar neither held any position in the party nor was he given a ticket to contest election.

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Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot today was sworn- in as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan at a ceremony in Jaipur. Sachin Pilot took oath as a cabinet minister. It is the third term of Mr. Gehlot as Chief Minister of the state. Our correspondent has the details:-
"Governor Kalyan Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to both the leaders in the ceremony organised before historic Albert Hall.  After this, the governor appointed Mr. Pilot as deputy chief minister of the state as per the suggestion of Chief Minister. Several leaders from Congress and its alliance partners from across the country including former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H. D. Devegauda and Congress President Rahul Gandhi attended the ceremony. Mr. Gehlot served as central minister and president of State Congress Committee for three times. - Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur."

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In Madhya Pradesh, senior congress leader Kamal Nath will take oath  a short while from now. Governor Anandiben Patel will administer oath of office and secrecy to him. According to Congress sources, Kamal Nath will take oath alone. Cabinet will be formed later after consultations with the party leadership.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi and many senior leaders of political partie including former Prime Ministers HD Deve Gowda, NCP's Sharad Pawar, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu are among others who are attending the ceremony.

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In Chhattisgarh, the newly elected Congress legislature party leader Bhupesh Baghel will be sworn-in as the new chief minister of the state this  evening. More from our correspondent:- 
"Today is a rainy day in Chhattisgarh. Sky is cloudy and light showers are lashing the state capital since last evening. The preparations for swearing in ceremony of new chief minister have been completed. Governor Anandi Ben Patel will administer oath of office to Bhupesh Baghel at the science college grounds of state capital Raipur at 4.30 this evening. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders of the party will attend the ceremony. Couple of senior MLAs would also be sworn-in. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

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India and Maldives signed four agreements on various fields in New Delhi today. The agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
In a press statement, Prime Minister Modi said India will extend 1.4 billion dollars financial assistance to Maldives.
"मुझे खुशी है कि इस प्रतिबद्धता की प्रत्यक्ष अभिव्यक्ति के तौर पर मालदीव के सामाजिक, आर्थिक, विकास के लिए budget support, currency swap और रियायती lines of credit के रूप में 1.4 billion, अमेरकी डॉलर की आर्थिक सहायता भारत, मालदीव को प्रदान करेगा। दोनों देशों के बीच connectivity को बेहतर बनाने के लिए भी भारत का पूर्ण सहयोग रहेगा। 
Mr Modi said the delegation level talks were constructive and they agreed to further strengthen bilateral ties.
"हमारी मित्रता सिर्फ हमारी भौगोलिक समितता के कारण ही नहीं है। सागर की लहरों ने हमारे तटों को जोड़ा है। इतिहास, संस्कृति, व्यापार और सामाजिक संबंध हमें हमेशा और भी नजदीक लाए हैं। आपकी इस यात्रा से दोनों देशों के बीच इन संबंधों के इतिहास में एक नए अध्याय की शुरूआत होगी।
The Prime Minister welcomed new visa agreement between India and Maldives.  In the  morning, the visiting dignitary was accorded ceremonial reception at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the presence of President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. External Affairs Minster Sushma Swaraj also called on Mr. Solih.  Maldivian President arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a three-day visit to India.

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The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day following continued protests by AIADMK and DMK members over Cauvery issue. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House minutes after it met for the day as the members holding placards trooped into the well. They raised slogans in support of their demand. Amidst noisy scenes, Leader of Opposition and Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad tried to raise Rafale fighter jet deal issue, saying the government has misled the Supreme Court on the matter. The Chairman, however, refused permission stating that the matter is before the court.
Our correspondent reports, today is the fourth day that the Upper House has witnessed repeated adjournments over several issues, including Rafale.

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Lok Sabha has been adjourned for the second time till 2 PM today following continued protests by opposition members on different issues. As soon as the House reassembled at noon, Congress members again trooped into the well demanding probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee into the Rafale aircraft deal. Members from Left, RJD and other parties were also on their feet. Ruling BJP members accused Congress of misleading the country on the deal and demanded its President Rahul Gandhi’s apology. They also raised slogans against the Congress following the conviction of Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti- Sikh riots.
AIADMK members were also in the well against the construction of dam across Cauvery River and to protect the lives of Cauvery delta farmers. TDP members raised slogans seeking financial benefits to Andhra Pradesh under the AP Reorganization Act of 2014. Amid noisy scenes, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House till 2 PM.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, normal life has been affected across Kashmir alley in response to the shutdown call given by separtist groups against the killing of three terrorist and seven civilians in Sirnoo village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday. No untoward incident was reported from any part of Valley so far. State Authorities have ordered strict restrictions under Section 144  in various parts of Srinagar district
Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed grief over the incident and directed divisional administration of Kashmir to conduct a probe into it.

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Communications Minister Manoj Sinha has said that States and Union Territories have a very important role in the digital revolution in the country. He was speaking at a seminar on achieving the vision of National Digital Communication Policy 2018 in New Delhi today. Mr Sinha said, internet connection to every village is the key and BharatNet project has been started to connect each Gram Panchayat to set up a network infrastructure to serve the rural masses.

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Cyclone Phethai will make landfall at Andhra Pradesh coast today. Heavy rainfall and high velocity wind predicted in four coastal districts of the state. Our correspondent has filed this report:-
"The PHETHAI cyclone is likely to move north westwards and cross Andhra Pradesh coast around Kakinada by today afternoon as per Indian Metereological Department and RSME. It is likely to weaken slightly before  landfall and cross coast as a cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 70-90 kmph. Red messages are given for East Godavari, West Godavari, Guntur and Visakhapatnam. AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is monitoring the situation. RNU, AIR, Vijayawada and Rainbow are giving s on PHETHAI cyclone. Vijayawada regional news unit is in touch with Real Time Governance (RTG), Amaravati is airing s from its FM headlines from time to time and instrumental in bringing back the fishermen who are in amidst the Bay of Bengal in Prakasam Disrtrict.  Dr.G.Kondala Rao from VIJAYAWADA."

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Renowned classical singer Pandit Arun Bhaduri passed away in Kolkata  today after a prolonged illness. He was 75 and survived by his wife and son. Pandit Bhaduri, was considered to be one of the masters of Bengali songs and Bhajans.West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed grief over the demise of Pandit Bhaduri.

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Australia has set 287- run target for India in the  second Test match being played at Perth. Earlier, resuming the fourth day, from overnight score of  142 for 4, Australia were 243 all out in their second innings. Indian pacer  Mohammed Shami picked a career best six wickets giving away 56 runs. India suffered a poor start having reduced to 15 runs for the loss of two wickets at tea. India were 64 for 4 when reports last came in. India lead the four match series 1-0.

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Catriona Gray of Philippines today clinched this year's Miss Universe crown  beating contestants from 93 other countries. Gray edged out first runner-up Tamaryn Green of South Africa and third-placed Sthefany Gutierrez of Venezuela. She succeeds Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa.  Gray is the fourth Filipina to be named Miss Universe.

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The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange appreciated 242 points to regain 36,000 mark to trade at 36,205. The Nifty at National Stock Exchange also added 58 points to trade at 10,863, a short while ago. 
The rupee at the forex market also strengthened 24 paise to 71 rupees and 66 paise against the US dollar in afternoon deals. 

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