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1400 HRS

29th May, 2017


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for a four nation tour to Germany, Spain, Russia and France; to take part in the 4th Indo-German Inter-governmental Consultations in Berlin tomorrow.
  • Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu says he supports Army Chief's statement of fighting through innovative ways the dirty war in Kashmir.
  • Sports Minister Vijay Goel says India can not play bilateral series with Pakistan till terrorism continues from across the border.
  • Special TADA court in Mumbai likely to pronounce its order today against Abu Salem and others in 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
  • CBI takes custody of controversial RJD leader Shahabuddin in connection with journalist Rajdeo Ranjan murder case.
  • North Korea fires third short-range ballistic missile defying UN resolution; US expresses strong concern.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a four nation tour to Germany, Spain, Russia and France today. Trade and commerce, economic cooperation and counter terrorism will be high on the agenda during Mr Modi's visit to the four European countries. In the first leg of his visit, Prime Minister will arrive in the German capital, Berlin this evening. He will have an informal dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the official country retreat.

Our correspondent reports the Prime Minister will take part in the 4th Indo-German Inter-governmental Consultations and meet German Chancellor to strengthen bilateral relations:

"India's initiative in improving bilateral trade ties with Germany has been gaining momentum after the Inter Governmental Consultations. Germany, one of the leading trade partner of India and also an important role player in the European Commission will divulge in bilateral talks in many sectors including defence, health and pharmaceuticals. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit will not only invigorate trade ties between both countries but also encourage countries in the European Union to look forward to investing in India. As procedures have been simplified in improving the investment climate and doing away with red tapism investments in states will become more easy and simple making India to stride forward as a stronger economy. Joy, AIR News, reporting from Berlin."

India and Germany will also hold ministerial level talks on various issues including trade and industry, technology, medicine and defence. Union Ministers Harsh Vardhan, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Seetharaman and MJ Akbar are expected to facilitate talks between the two countries.  In a series of messages on a social Media platform yesterday, the Prime Minister said he hoped that this visit will open a new chapter in bilateral relations with Germany and further deepen strategic partnership. Mr Modi said, India will seek active participation of Spanish industry in various Indian projects including infrastructure, smart cities, digital economy, renewable energy, defence and tourism. Mr. Modi also expressed his commitment to strengthening and advancing India's multi faceted partnership with France which is India's 9th largest investment partner. The Prime Minister further said, he is looking forward to visit St.Petersburg in this special year as India and Russia celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations.


The Indian Ambassador to Germany Mukta Dutta Tomar has said Germany is a valued partner for India and the Prime Minister’s visit will reiterate the strength and valued relationship of both the countries further. In an interview to AIR special correspondent S. Joy, the Ambassador said Germany was among the top ten countries investing in India.

"The Prime Minister's visit to Germany is first of all reiteration of the strength of the relations. Bi-laterally India  and Germany have a very rebuts relationship and the Inter-Governmental process provides chance to review the bilateral agenda and set the roadmap for future avenues of India-Germany collaboration. The trade and investment, Science and Technology, skill redevelopment security and counter terrorism co-operation are all areas in which our partnership can be strengthened and give in further impetus."   


Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today strongly supported Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s recent assertion on Kashmir. Talking to media, Mr Naidu said, he totally agrees with Indian Army chief's statement that the dirty war in Jammu and Kashmir calls for innovation.

Army chief Rawat yesterday came to the rescue of Major Gogoi, and said such innovative ways are required to counter the dirty war underway in Kashmir. Indicating his firm approach to counter insurgency, Mr Rawat said the Army would take steps, which would break the clutches of militancy in South Kashmir. The Army chief added that the situation prevalent in Kashmir makes it mandatory for the Army to resort to tough measures.


Sports Minister Vijay Goel has said India can not play bilateral series with Pakistan till terrorism from across the border continues. Mr Goel said terrorism and cricket cannot go hand in hand. Replying to a media query on BCCI-PCB meet in Dubai, the Sports Minister said BCCI should first talk to government before giving any proposal. He said BCCI has not talked to the government on this issue.


The Congress has suspended party's Youth workers who allegedly slaughtered a calf in Kerala yesterday. Talking to media in New Delhi today, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said such elements have no place in the party. A few Youth Congress members in Kerala had allegedly slaughtered a calf in public to protest against government's move to ban sale of cows for slaughter. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had condemned the act and termed the incident as thoughtless and barbaric. In a tweet, Mr. Gandhi said such an act was unacceptable to him and to the Congress party. Kerala Police booked Youth Congress activists involved in the incident after it drew flak from various quarters.            


A special TADA court in Mumbai is likely to pronounce its orders against the extradited gangster Abu Salem and others in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case today. The others accused in the case include Karimullah Khan, Feroze Abdul Rashid, Tahir Merchant and Mustafa Dossa. The TADA court had in 2006 convicted 100 accused, including Yakub Memon who was executed on July 30, 2015.

Thirteen powerful blasts had ripped through Mumbai on March 12, 1993, killing at least 257 people and injuring around 713.  


The CBI today took custody of controversial Rashtriya Janata Dal, RJD, leader Shahabuddin in connection with murder case of journalist Rajdeo Ranjan. According to CBI sources, Shahabuddin, who is accused in the case, has been brought to the agency headquarter for questioning. Shahabuddin is facing trial in more than 45 criminal cases and is presently lodged in Tihar prison.

The four-time RJD MP from Siwan is alleged to have been involved in the murder of Ranjan, a journalist of a prominent Hindi daily in Siwan last year. Ranjan's wife has accused Shahabuddin of having a role in the killing.


The Supreme Court today allowed liquor firms in Bihar to dispose of their stock outside the state. The court considered the submission of Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies that they are facing huge economic loss in view of the liquor ban imposed in Bihar. The apex court agreed to its contention and granted time till 31st of July for getting rid of the existing stock.                     


The CBI today opposed the bail plea of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife in a disproportionate assets case against them. The agency told the court in Delhi that they may influence the witnesses. CBI also said, investigation in the case is still on and bail may hamper it. The court is likely to pronounce an order in a short while.


The black box of the Sukhoi-30 fighter jet that went missing with two pilots on board has been recovered from a dense forest in Arunachal Pradesh. The wreckage of the plane was found on Friday, 60 kilometres from Tezpur airbase. However, the fate of the crew is not yet known. Speaking in New Delhi, IAF spokesperson Wing Commander, Anupam Banerjee said further search is in progress.

The Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet had gone missing shortly after taking off from Tezpur Air Force station last Tuesday on a routine training sortie.                  


North Korea has fired third short-range ballistic missile defying the UN resolution. It is the third apparently successful test in as many weeks. South Korea's military says the missile, believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile, was launched from North Korea's eastern coast and flew nearly 450 kilometers before landing in the sea.

US Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis has expressed strong caution about the capabilities of North Korean missiles. In an interview with a Television channel yesterday, he said US assumes that North Koea is getting better with each test. He called North a direct threat to the United States. He took a cautious stance toward taking military action, saying a military conflict with North Korea would probably be the worst kind of fighting in most people's lifetimes. He stressed the need to continue seeking a diplomatic solution.


The death toll from devastating floods in Sri Lanka has risen to 164. Disaster Management Centre, DMC, today said the Rescuers have pulled out more bodies buried in the mudslides triggered by the country's worst torrential rains in 14 years. The DMC also said 104 people were still listed as missing while another 88 remained in hospital. The government said relief operations had intensified over the weekend following a break in the monsoon rains. Meanwhile, India is sending two naval ships laden with supplies over the weekend.


Back home, The Met department has said the onset of the southwest monsoon is likely to advance further due to a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal. DG, IMD KJ Ramesh told AIR that the deep depression would help in the advancement of the monsoon over Kerala and northeast India. He said, the deep depression is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by tonight and cross Chittagong by noon tomorrow.

The depression will bring heavy to very heavy rainfall in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Several parts of Odisha are also likely to experience rain and thunderstorm in the next 24 hours under its impact.


Sagar Mala project is a strategic and customer-oriented initiative of the Government to modernize Country's Ports so that port-led development can be augmented and coastlines can be developed to contribute to the nation's growth. Our Kochi correspondent reports as many as five projects in Kerala are among the 165 identified SAGARMALA programme.

"As many as five projects in Kerala are among the 165 identified under the National Perspective Plan of the Shipping Ministry ambitious SAGARMALA programme. The projects in Kerala are in the areas of port modernization and new port development, port connectivity, enhancement and port led industrial development. A rupees 10 crores edible oil terminal, rupees 120 crores food grain import programme and rupees 155 crores fertilizer bagging facility, all at the Cochin port, figure under the port modernization plan which envisages 40 projects and six new mega port locations. Cochin port is a major port on the strategically important Western coast line of the country. Under the new initiative , the Cochin port has shown marked improvement in all spheres of activities.  NC Jayachandran, AIR News, Kochi."


In Gujarat, residents of Vadodara have created a new Guinness world record yesterday with maximum number of people sweeping the floor. In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, Vadodara Municipal Corporation has broken the record for the maximum number of people sweeping any public place. He said, Vadodara has celebrated its inclusion in ten cleanest cities in a very inspiring manner.


Indian men's hockey team today left for a three-nation invitational tournament in Germany starting Thursday. The 18-member squad is led by Manpreet Singh as the regular captain PR Shreejesh is injured.


After a weak opening, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange recovered lost ground, and had climbed 64 points to 31,092 amid volatile trade, a short while ago. Intra-day, the Sensex also scaled a new lifetime peak of 31,155. Similarly, the Nifty at the National Stock Exchange had gained 6 points, to 9,601. The Nifty also hit a new all-time intra-day high.


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