Top 10 news today: Salman Khan verdict, Manohar Parrikar on Donald Trump ‘Muslims’ remark, Delhi CM under odd-even formula, Sonia Gandhi foreign origin, more
1. Salman Khan verdict in hit-and-run case: In a huge relief for Salman Khan, the Bombay High Court today acquitted him in the 2002 hit-and-run case, ruling the prosecution had failed to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that actor was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident and was drunk. The judgement came on an appeal by the superstar, seven months after he was pronounced guilty by the trial court of running over five people sleeping on a pavement outside a laundry in suburban Bandra with his Toyota Land Cruiser, killing one and causing injury to four others on October 28, 2002 and sentenced him to five years in jail. "The appeal is allowed. ...Salman is acquitted of all the charges," Justice A R Joshi said, reading out the judgement. "....this court has come to the conclusion that the prosecution has failed to bring material on record to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant (Salman was driving and was under the influence of alcohol...," the judge said. (Image Source: PTI)
2. Donald Trump Muslim ban remark has 'potential of nuclear bomb', says Manohar Parrikar A question an American reporter on US Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's controversial remarks over ban on Muslims entering America was answered thus by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today: It has the "potential of a nuclear bomb" but did not give a clear response to what he thought of the remarks. He added, in India, "we don't look towards communities with suspicion. I'll not comment on what has been talked about in the US, but as far as India is concerned, we have the second largest Muslim population in the world and we gel well. We believe that everyone has equal opportunity, equal rights. Yes, maybe there are a few small pockets of extremism, radicalisation, but they are too few to treat the different sections of society differently".
Image Caption: People take part in an anti-Donald Trump, pro-immigration protest in the Manhattan borough of New York (Image Source: Reuters)
3. India's map on Pentagon site excludes PoK, Aksai Chin In an embarrassment, PoK and Aksai Chin were not shown as India's territory in a map by the Pentagon website ahead of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's press conference jointly with his American counterpart. The graphic was even tweeted by the Indian Embassy in Washington along with the message that the joint address by US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Parrikar will begin at 10:50 AM. But this was removed later. The graphic had the Indian tricolour and a map that showed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin not as India's territory.
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar walk off-stage after their joint news conference (Image Source: AP)
4. Odd-even formula scheme to apply to Delhi CM Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleague will come under the ambit of odd-even formula scheme of plying of vehicles in the national capital while the Delhi government will leave the decision of Union ministers joining the scheme at the Centre's discretion. "All Delhi ministers, including the Chief Minister and officers will come under odd-even formula, but the state government may leave inclusion of the central ministers in the scheme at their discretion," a Delhi government official said. The odd-even scheme will restrict plying of vehicles on alternate days from January 1. (Image Source: PTI)
5. Chennai floods cause $3 bn loss in India, says Aon Benfield: Torrential rains, which caused floods in South India in November and early-December, has led to economic losses to the tune of USD 3 billion (about Rs 20,000 crore), a report said today. According to reinsurance broker Aon Benfield's monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, economic developments in Asia are taking place in flood plains and marsh lands with scant attention to drainage, thus increasing run-off and flooding. An enhanced North East monsoon impacted by the current El Nino brought weeks of torrential rainfall to southern India and Sri Lanka for much of November into early December, the report said. Portions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in India and Sri Lanka were heavily impacted by floods. There were severe impact to agricultural interests and infrastructure as rivers swelled into both rural and urban areas. Chennai metropolitan region was particularly damaged by the event, it added. (Image Source: PTI)
6. Sonia Gandhi foreign origin had 'reached far and wide': Sharad Pawar Sharad Pawar, who was shown the door by Congress for raising the matter of foreign origin of party chief Sonia Gandhi in 1999, says the issue had "reached far and deep" at that time. Pawar also blames senior Congress leader Arjun Singh for "orchestrating" his expulsion along with P A Sangma and Tariq Anwar from the party on the foreign origin issue. The trio went to form Nationalist Congress Party. Pawar recalls in his book 'On My Terms-From the Grassroot to the Corridors of Power' how at a function in Mumbai a university girl had asked him "in a country of one billion people, why can't the Congress find a leader of Indian origin?" "The fact that the question was posed by a member of the younger generation indicated that issue had reached far and deep. This means the foreign origin issue (of Sonia Gandhi) would take centre stage in election," the NCP chief says in the book. (Image Source: PTI)
6.7AIMPLB expresses concern over intolerance in India The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) expressed concern over the issue of growing intolerance in the country and the raging debate over Muslim Personal Law at a conference at Idgah ground here today. Speaking at the conference themed around 'Save the religion and Constitution', Maulana Wali Rahmani, General Secretary of the Board, said, "Muslims are worried and gathered here to tackle the present negative situation." The Modi government is trying to tinker with Muslim Personal Law...and putting pressure on people to flout religious rules, he said, adding "the Board is fully capable to tackle the situation and all clerics are united against the unlawful acts". Rahmani also said that practising surya namaskar and yoga is intolerable for the Muslim masses and that the government should not force these upon the people. (Image Source: Reuters)
8. No change in Indian policy in Middle East: Parrikar India today ruled out any change in its policy in the Middle East on assisting the international efforts to combat the Islamic State, saying it will only participate in UN approved programmes. "No changes in policy. While we are sharing intelligence, we believe that whatever role India is to play under any UN approved programme, we'll do it," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters in a joint news conference with US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, when asked if India is considering increasing its role in countering the Islamic State. However, he said that in view of the threat from ISIS there is intelligence sharing between the two countries.
Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar gestures while answering a reporters question during a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Ash Carter (Image Source: Reuters)
9. 'Unclaimed plot adjacent to Ram Temple should be given for it' A plot of unclaimed land adjacent to the Ram Temple site in Ayodhya should be given to HP for construction of the temple, a senior official of the right-wing body's today said. "2.77 acre plot adjacent to Ram Temple with none as its claimant should be given to VHP for construction of the temple", Organising Secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Dinesh told reporters here. He claimed that 60 per cent of the reshaped stones are ready for the construction of the temple. "If government is really interested to improve the condition of the temples, it should select such temples where there is none even to kindle the earthen lamp", he said. (Image Source: PTI)
10. Court pardons David Headley, makes him approver in 26/11 case A Mumbai court today pardoned Pakistani-American LeT operative David Headley, who had surveyed targets for the 26/11 attacks, and made him an approver in the case, a move that may unravel the conspiracy behind the brazen terror assault. "Accused David Headley is tendered pardon as per section 307 of Code of Criminal Procedure....Headley would be the prosecution witnesses in the case," said the judge G A Sanap. Headley will depose through video conference on February 8. The court added that pardon was being granted on the condition that he would reveal "every fact". "He shall reveal all true facts leading to the conspiracy of terror attacks and also details of all the co-accused involved in this matter and crimes committed in India by him and others as per his knowledge," the judge said. "If (the prosecution's) application for pardon (for Headley) is rejected, it will be difficult to bring on record the direct and best evidence in the case and hence I am inclined to accept the application," the judge said. (File image)
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