Top news of the day: Rahul Gandhi replies to Delhi Police on remarks about ‘sexual assault on women’; fresh FIR against Amritpal, associates for possessing illegal weapons, and more

Top news of the day: Rahul Gandhi replies to Delhi Police on remarks about ‘sexual assault on women’; fresh FIR against Amritpal, associates for possessing illegal weapons, and more

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi leaves his residence after a Delhi Police team met him to seek information about the ‘sexual harassment’ victims, who he claimed had met him during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi leaves his residence after a Delhi Police team met him to seek information about the ‘sexual harassment’ victims, who he claimed had met him during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Rahul Gandhi sends preliminary reply to Delhi Police notice on his ‘sexual assault on women’ remark

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on March 19 sent a four-page preliminary reply to the Delhi Police’s notice about his “women still being sexually assaulted” remark made during the Bharat Jodo Yatra while questioning the process adopted by the authorities and a sudden urgency after a 45-day delay. The Congress leader gave the 10-point reply hours after a Delhi Police team knocked on his doors for the third time in five days. He also sought eight to 10 days to give a detailed response to the questions posed by Delhi Police over his January 30 remarks, the sources said.

Fresh FIR against radical preacher Amritpal, associates for possession of illegal weapons

A fresh FIR was lodged against radical preacher Amritpal Singh and some of his associates on March 19 in connection with the possession of illegal weapons, a senior police officer said. Amritsar Rural Senior Superintendent of Police Satinder Singh said seven of Amritpal’s associates have been arrested under Arms Act. Punjab Police had on Saturday launched a major crackdown against Amritpal, with police arresting 78 members of an outfit headed by him. However, the hunt is on to catch Amritpal who gave the police a slip when his cavalcade was intercepted in the Jalandhar district on Saturday.

Lakhs of farmers headed to Delhi for ‘kisan mahapanchayat’, says Samyukt Kisan Morcha

The Samyukt Kisan Morcha on March 19 said lakhs of farmers from across the country are on their way to Delhi to participate in the ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ that will be held at Ramlila Maidan on March 20. The ‘kisan mahapanchayat’ will be held to press for a legal guarantee on the minimum support price, the SKM, an umbrella body of farmers’ union, had said last month.

Remarks against PM | Supreme Court to hear Congress leader Pawan Khera’s plea on March 20

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on March 20 a plea of Congress leader Pawan Khera seeking transfer and clubbing of FIRs lodged against him in Assam and Uttar Pradesh for allegedly making objectionable remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud on Friday deferred the hearing on Mr. Khera’s plea to March 20 after taking note of submissions that senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, appearing for the Congress leader, was unavailable.

Health Ministry mulls introducing central recruitment at all AIIMS to address faculty shortage

The Union Health Ministry is examining the possibility of introducing centralised recruitment for faculty and non-faculty at various AIIMS across India to address the shortage of personnel at these premier health institutes. A committee comprising Dr. V. K. Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog; Additional Secretary, PMSSY, Ministry of Health; and Director, AIIMS, New Delhi has been constituted in this regard. Around 44% of the faculty posts are lying vacant in 18 new AIIMS, with AIIMS Rajkot having the lowest with just 40 faculties out of the sanctioned 183 posts, the ministry had told the Lok Sabha last year.

UAE’s Emaar becomes first overseas company to start a mega-mall project in Kashmir

Dubai-based Emaar, a real estate developer from the United Arab Emirates, has become the first overseas company to invest in a mega-mall spread over 10 lakh square feet in Srinagar, a first since the Centre ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional position in 2019. Describing the project as “a new dawn of limitless possibilities”, J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said, “We are taking forward the Prime Minister’s vision for the development of J&K. Mall of Srinagar will have a transformative impact on the Union Territory (UT) and boost the infrastructure, employment generation and ease of living.”

No one will be spared: J&K Police on case of conman posing as PMO official

The Jammu and Kashmir Police on March 19 said action will be taken against everyone involved in providing perks and security cover to the conman who posed as a PMO official. Kiran Bhai Patel from Gujarat has been arrested by police from a five-star hotel in Srinagar for posing as an ‘additional secretary’ in the Prime Minister’s Office and enjoying security cover besides other hospitality. He had three cases registered against him in his home state. “When the Srinagar Police got the information on March 2, the hotel was raided and the man was caught red-handed. Fake visiting cards were seized from him and he was arrested the same day after registration of a case,” Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.

Pakistan police register terrorism case against ex-PM Imran Khan, PTI leaders for vandalism in Islamabad

Pakistani police on March 19 registered a terrorism case against Imran Khan and over a dozen leaders of his party for indulging in vandalism, attacking security personnel and creating unrest outside the judicial complex in Islamabad ahead of a court hearing in a graft case involving the ousted premier. Clashes erupted outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex on March 18 when Mr. Khan arrived from Lahore to attend a much-awaited hearing in the Toshakhana case.

Putin makes surprise trip to Mariupol, first to occupied Donbas in Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Mariupol, Russian state media reported on March 19, in what would be the Kremlin leader’s first trip to the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine’s Donbas region since the start of the war. The visit came after Mr. Putin travelled to Crimea on Saturday in an unannounced visit to mark the ninth anniversary of Russia’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, and just two days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader.

Israel PM Netanyahu urges military chief to contain reservist protest

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the military’s chief of staff on March 19 to contain a wave of protest from within the ranks over a contentious government plan to overhaul the judiciary. Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks come as Israel is embroiled in a major crisis that has sent tens of thousands of people into the streets protesting every week for the last two months. The divide over Mr. Netanyahu’s plans to change the legal system has not spared the country’s military, its most trusted institution, where many reservists have pledged not to show up for duty under what they see as impending regime change.

Egypt hosts Israeli-Palestinian talks in push for pre-Ramzan calm

Egypt hosts Israeli and Palestinian officials on March 19 in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh in a U.S. and Jordanian backed effort to calm a surge of violence in the West Bank ahead of the holy Muslim month of Ramzan. The five-way meeting follows a Feb. 26 U.S.-brokered summit in Jordan, the first of its kind in years, that secured Israeli and Palestinian pledges to de-escalate but was challenged by factions on both sides and failed to halt violence on the ground. The meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh “aims to support dialogue between the Palestinian and Israeli sides to work to stop unilateral actions and escalation, and break the existing cycle of violence and achieve calm”, a statement from Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said.

India’s power consumption rises 10% betweeb April 2021 and February 2022 to 1375 billion units, surpasses full fiscal energy supplies year ago

India’s power consumption surged 10% to 1375.57 billion units (BU) during April-February this fiscal year and has already surpassed the level of electricity supplied in entire 2021-22. The government data showed that power consumption in April-February 2021-22 was 1245.54 BU. In entire fiscal year 2021-22, power consumption was 1374.02 BU, which is less than 1375.57 BU recorded during April 2022 to February 2023 period.

Ind vs Aus second ODI | Star performance from Australia’s two Mitchells as India suffers 10-wicket defeat

Australian pace ace Mitchell Starc’s devastating bowling (5/53) and openers Mitchell Marsh (66 not out) and Travis Head’s (51 not out) smashing unbeaten 121-run opening partnership helped the visitors thrash India by 10 wickets to level the three-match ODI series 1-1 in Visakhapatnam on March 19. The Australians, set a lowly 118-run target to win the match, completed the job with 234 balls to spare, making it India’s worst-ever defeat in the 50-over format in terms of number of deliveries.

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