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3-year-old girl raped, murdered in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri; third incident in district in 20 days


In yet another barbaric incident in Uttar Pradesh, a three-year-old girl was found dead in a field in Lakhimpur Kheri on Thursday morning. Police said that the girl was raped and strangulated.

This is the third case of rape and murder in the state in the last 20 days.

She was found missing since Wednesday and her body was found just half a kilometre from her home.

Yesterday, the police had called it murder. Sexual assault was confirmed by the autopsy, said the police.

In his complaint to the police, the girl’s father had accused a villager Lekhram. He alleged that the girl was kidnapped and killed in a rivalry.

The district police chief, Satendra Kumar, told that the police have formed four teams to look for the accused man.

“The body has been sent for post-mortem. We are investigating the matter and stringent action will be taken against accused,” he added.

Last week, a 17-year-old girl was raped and her mutilated body was found near a village in Lakhimpur Kheri district.

The police had initially said the girl appeared to have been killed with a sharp weapon and that she had sustained injuries to her neck. The body was found near a dried-up pond, around 200 metres from her village.

The post-mortem report has confirmed rape, said SP Satendar Kumar and added that all possible efforts are being made to identify and arrest the accused.

According to the relatives of the girl, she had left home on Monday to visit a neighbouring town to fill up a scholarship form. However, when she did not return, the family informed the police.

On August 15, a 13-year-old girl was raped and killed in Lakhimpur Kheri district and her body found in a sugarcane field. The girl’s family had claimed that their daughter’s body was found with her eyes gouged out, tongue cut and strangled with a ‘dupatta’, in a sugarcane field.

However, the UP Police denied that the girl’s eyes were gouged out or tongue being cut, as it was not mentioned in the post-mortem report. They said that the report states rape and strangulation.

On August 16, in yet another shocking incident emerging from Uttar Pradesh, a minor girl was allegedly raped and singed with cigarette butts by two men in the Gola area of Gorakhpur district.

Earlier, on August 6, a 6-year-old girl in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh was kidnapped and raped. She was left to die in a nearby forest, from where a search and rescue team found her almost 12 hours later. The police later arrested the accused. The girl has been through at least one surgery following the attack.




India adds 83.8k new Covid cases in 24 hrs


The country added a huge 83,883 Covid-19 cases over the previous 24 hours, far exceeding all previously recorded daily numbers for any country, even as the government defended its decision to open up various economic activities , saying it firmly believes that “while lives are important, livelihoods are equally important”.

With a record singleday spike of 83,883 infections, India’s Covid-19 caseload mounted to 38,53,406, while the death toll climbed to 67,376 with 1,043 people succumbing to the disease in a day, according to Union Health Ministry data updated at 8 a.m.

Asked why the government is opening up different economic activities when there is a spike in daily positive cases, secretary in the Health Ministry, Rajesh Bhushan, told a press conference: “These numbers have to be seen in the context of the total population of India. We are the second most populous country in the world.”

It is not as if suddenly everything has been opened up, he said and underscored that prior to graded opening of economic activities in the country, the government ensured all prerequisites such as adequate testing capacity, clear-cut guidelines of standard clinical treatment protocol, enhanced hospital infrastructure, adequate intensive care unit beds and beds with oxygen facility.

“At the end of the day, the government firmly believes that while lives are important, livelihoods are equally important,” Bhushan said.

According to the Union Health Ministry data, out of total confirmed cases, 8,15,538 are active cases, while a total of 2,970,492 patients have recovered from the virus so far. With 68,584 recoveries in a day, the recovery rate has increased to 77.09 per cent. India has registered more than 60,000 recoveries each day for the seventh day in a row.

The Ministry said that 12 states and Union Territories like Andaman and Dui, Delhi, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar, West Bengal, etc., have reported a recovery rate more than the national average. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit with a total of 8,08,306 cases and 24,903 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh with 4,45,139 cases and 4,053 deaths. Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, and Bihar come next.

Bhushan said India has 2,792 cases of Covid-19 per million population which is amongst the lowest in the world. Bushan also added that in India, deaths per million population is 49 which is also amongst the lowest in the world.

(With input from PTI)




LAC standoff: Army chief in Leh to review situation


Army sources said Gen Naravane would be briefed by senior field commanders on the ground situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where Indian troops foiled attempts by Chinese forces to alter the status quo at the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake recently and occupied some key heights.

 

Army chief General MM Naravane on Thursday reached Leh as part of a two day visit to review the operational preparedness of his forces in the Ladakh region where Indian soldiers are locked in a tense standoff with Chinese troops.

The government, meanwhile, said that the border tension in Ladakh over the past four months is a “direct result” of Chinese actions aimed at effecting unilateral change in the status quo of the region, and asserted that the only way forward to resolve it was through negotiations.

Army sources said Gen Naravane would be briefed by senior field commanders on the ground situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where Indian troops foiled attempts by Chinese forces to alter the status quo at the south bank of Pangong Tso Lake recently and occupied some key heights.

He will also get a detailed briefing on the talks held with the Chinese side over the past three days to ease the current situation.

The talks have not yielded any result and sources said another round of parleys was being held today at the brigade commander level in an open area at Chushul.

The Army chief’s visit comes after IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria visited front-line air bases in Eastern Air Command this week. India has, meanwhile, rushed additional troops and weapons to the sensitive region anticipating that the current stand-off could go on for months.

At an online media briefing, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the Chinese actions resulted in “violation” of the bilateral deals and protocol which ensured peace and tranquillity in the border areas for close to three decades. He urged the Chinese side to “sincerely” engage with India with the objective of “expeditiously” restoring peace and tranquillity in the border areas through complete disengagement and deescalation.

 

 




‘There was hidden purpose…’: Rahul Gandhi links demonetisation with current GDP downfall


Rahul Gandhi launched an attack on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday over the downfall of the GDP by linking it to the demonetisation of high valued currency notes in 2016.

He said, the country “must unite and fight” what he called the attack on the poor, farmers and unauthorised sector.

In a fresh video released by Rahul Gandhi today morning, he said, “PM Modi’s cashless India is in reality a mazdoor-kisan-chhota vyapari mukt Bharat.  The frightening impact of the dice rolled on November 8, 2016 was revealed on August 31 2020.”

This was the second video released by Rahul Gandhi in a series named “How the Modi government has destroyed Indian economy.”

“On November 8, at 8 PM, the PM announced the move that left the entire country queueing up at banks”, said Rahul Gandhi in the video.

“What was the benefit of the move? Was there black money? No. What did the poor get from the notes ban? Nothing. So who gained? Only the industrialists. Your money was used to waive loans to some industrialists,” he alleged.

He further alleged that there was a hidden purpose of demonetisation.

“This was a way of taking out all the cash from the unorganized sector, which only works on cash,” he said.

In a major set-back for the Indian economy, the country’s GDP has contracted 23.9 per cent in the April-June quarter (Q1), the official data had said. This is the worst incident of the negative economy in India since 1996.

As per the National Statistical Office, Gross Value Added (GVA) came in at -22.8 per cent.

Rahul Gandhi had released first video on August 31 and alleged that the government had been attacking the informal sector for the past six years.

SNS Web | New Delh




Depriving states of GST dues a bid to undermine federalism: CM


Statesman News Service | 
Slamming the Centre over failure to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) dues to the states, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that it undermines federalism and urged him not to destroy the trust between the states and the Centre on the issue.

“Depriving states of GST Compensation is an attempt to undermine federalism,” Miss Banerjee wrote and asked the PM “not to allow an insufferable blow to the federalist polity of the nation by depriving the states of the GST compensation”.

Miss Banerjee said that if it is said that it is not the responsibility of the Government of India to compensate states for GST shortfall in this pandemic then “this appears to be an act of subterfuge to undermine the trust reposed by the states in the spirit of cooperative federalism” and “an onslaught on the democratic and federal structure of the country”.

“I am deeply anguished by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) imbroglio which tantamounts to a betrayal of the trust and moral responsibility of the Government of India towards the states, violating the very premise of federalism.

Miss Banerjee reminded Mr Modi that he as CM of Gujarat had opposed the implementation of GST on various grounds while former finance minister Arun Jaitley had stated that the sole reason why BJP was opposing GST implementation was because it did not trust the Government of India in honouring compensation of GST losses to the states. “Today his words are ringing in our ears as we are losing trust on the BJP Government in the Centre, in honouring its solemn promise of fully compensating GST losses to the states,” she wrote.

She added that the “agreed formula” for giving up taxing powers was the promise of full compensation of shortfall in GST collection for five years.

Later in a Press Conference in Nabanna, Miss Banerjee said that she has spoken on behalf of all the chief ministers. “During the ongoing pandemic situation there is only burning and no earning. Why is the Centre moving back from its commitment? This is nothing but a breach of trust on the Centre’s part,” she said.

The non-BJP ruled states and Union Territory Puducherry on Monday had rejected the Centre’s suggestion that the states should borrow to make up for the GST shortfall, saying the constitutional liability to fill the gap lies with the Union government.

 




Bigg Boss 14 Updates: Will godwoman Radhe Maa enter the show?


Mumbai: The new season of one of the most talked-about and controversial reality show Bigg Boss is around the corner and fans have been eagerly waiting for the makers to announce the contestant list soon. While the makers of the show haven’t yet confirmed the final list of contestants, several names including the controversial Radhe Maa are being associated with Bigg Boss 14.

And now, if the buzz is to be believed then self-proclaimed godwoman Radhe Maa has been reportedly approached by the makers of Bigg Boss to participate in the Salman Khan hosted the show. It is being said that she was approached by the makers of the show for last season but she will likely be a part of the upcoming season.

Radhe Maa, whose original name is Sukhvinder Kaur, has been a prominent figure in Punjab. She was born in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab and has been on the spiritual path ever since she was young.

However, no official confirmation by the makers of Bigg Boss or Radhe Maa’s representatives has been released yet.

But if the latest reports turn out to be true, then the show will definitely get spiced up just like the season 10 when self-proclaimed godman Swami Om became a part of the show.

Speaking about the other probable contestants who are likely to take part in Bigg Boss 14, it is being said that Jasmin Bhasin, Nia Sharma, Nalini Negi, and Naina Singh have accepted the offer. Meanwhile, actress Disha Vkani who is popular for playing the role of Dayaben in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is also approached by the makers to become a part of the most controversial show. But the confirmed list is yet to be announced.

Reportedly, the contestants were supposed to be kept in a quarantine period of at last week of August and the show was supposed to go live from the 5th of September. But the makers of the Bigg Boss were forced to push the show date by a month due to heavy rains in Mumbai. The official launch date is also yet to be announced.




PM Modi’s personal website hacked later restored: Twitter


New Delhi: Twitter on Thursday said that the account linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s website was hacked, and was later restored.

“We’re aware of this activity and have taken steps to secure the compromised account. We are actively investigating the situation. At this time, we are not aware of additional accounts being impacted. Advice on keeping your account secure can be found,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

According to reports, the hacker put out messages seeking donations to the Prime Minister’s relief fund for COVID-19 using bitcoins.

“This account is hacked by John Wick (hckindia@tutanota.com), We have not hacked Paytm Mall,” the message reportedly said.

On August 30, cybersecurity firm Cyble had claimed that hacker group John Wick was behind a data breach at Paytm Mall, the e-commerce unit of Paytm.

 

Twitter said at this stage, there is no indication or evidence of any correlation between this account compromise and the incident that took place in July.

In July, accounts of Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and other high-profile users were also compromised.

 

Source: PTI

 




4 LeT militant associates arrested in J&K


“Arms and ammunition recovered from the arrested persons include AK-47 rounds, detonators among others,” the police said.

Four associates of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group were arrested by the security forces on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam district, police said.

“During a cordon and search operation troops of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles and police arrested 4 LeT militant associates in Pethkoot village of Beerwah tehsil. Incriminating material has been recovered from them.

“The four men were identified as Shakil Ahmad Wani and Showkat Ahmad, both residents of Pethkoot village, and Aqib Maqbool Khan and Ajaz Ahmad Dar of Cherwani Chrar-e-Sharief. The group was involved in providing shelter and logistical support to active LeT militants in the area.

“Arms and ammunition recovered from the arrested persons include AK-47 rounds, detonators among others,” the police said.




Covid-19: Tally nears 37 lakh; recovery rate 76.94 per cent


According to a Covid tracker report by JM Financial, of the top 6 worst-hit states, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have peaked out based on a 7-day moving average. The top 20 districts constitute 39 per cent of total cases led by Delhi.

Of the top six worst Covid-hit states, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have peaked out while new cases in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh are not yet seeing a downward curve.

According to a Covid tracker report by JM Financial, of the top 6 worst-hit states, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have peaked out based on a 7-day moving average. The top 20 districts constitute 39 per cent of total cases led by Delhi.

The others are Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Thane, Bengaluru Urban, East Godavari, Hyderabad, Kurnool, Hyderabad, Anantapur, Kolkata, Nashik, Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Chittoor, Guntur, North-24 Paraganas, Ahmedabad, Raigad, SPS Nellore.

India’s Covid-19 tally is though the third-largest in the world, India’s recovery rate has been steady and the death rate is moderating. India’s deaths-to-positives ratio has moderated to 1.79 per cent versus 1.86 per cent last week. The daily recoveries-to-new cases ratio for India averaged 88 per cent in line with last week, the Ministry of Health data showed.

As per the tracker, the daily growth in cases is now lower than testing per million. The deaths per test for India remain below most nations while the daily growth in testing per million (at 2.4 per cent) is now above daily case growth (at 2.2 per cent)




Donald Trump condoles death of ex-President Pranab Mukherjee


US President Donald Trump has expressed his condolence over the death of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee who passed away at a hospital here on Monday.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the US President said: “I was saddened to learn of the passing of India’s former President, #PranabMukherjee. I send my condolences to his family and the people of India as they grieve the loss of a great leader.”

Mukherjee, a Congress veteran, was admitted to the hospital on August 10. He was hospitalised for over 20 days. His condition turned critical following brain surgery.

Mukherjee was the President of India from 2012 to 2017.

He was conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, in 2019, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.





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