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On run for a month, Honeypreet Insan now behind bars
Honeypreet Insan, who calls herself the adopted daughter of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was today arrested by the Haryana Police in connection with the deadly violence which followed the sect head’s conviction on August 25. The arrest came hours after Honeypreet appeared on two private news channels interacting with reporters at an undisclosed location, even though the Haryana Police had been looking for her for more than a month. Priyanka Taneja (36), alias Honeypreet, was arrested from Zirakpur-Patiala road, Haryana Police DGP B S Sandhu said. The scene of her arrest is about 15-18 kms from both Chandigarh and Panchkula. The Haryana Police had been facing flak for not being able to nab Honeypreet for more than a month.
Top Cong leadership on bail, says Modi in poll-bound Himachal
argeting the Congress leadership on corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today alleged that the party was unable to replace graft accused Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh as the top brass itself was on “bail”, an apparent reference to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case. Kicking off the BJP’s campaign for the Assembly polls in Himachal Pradesh due later this year, he said it was now for the people to decide whether they should bring the Congress back to power in the state. “The entire family of the chief minister is facing corruption charges and is on bail. When I asked some Congress leaders why the chief minister is not being replaced, they replied how could the party act against him when the AICC president and the yuvraj are on bail,” Modi said at a BJP rally here. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are on bail in the National Herald case.
Petrol, diesel to cost less; excise duty cut by Rs 2/ltr
Bowing to public pressure, the government today cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre each to moderate the relentless rise in fuel prices witnessed for the last three months. Petrol and diesel will cost Rs 2 a litre less from tomorrow after the first excise duty cut by the Modi government comes into effect. Petrol currently costs Rs 70.88 per litre in Delhi while a litre of diesel is priced at an all-time high of Rs 59.14. The excise duty cut would cost the government Rs 26,000 crore in annual revenue and about Rs 13,000 crore during the remaining part of the current fiscal year that ends on March 31, 2018, an official statement announcing the reduction said. The government, which had between November 2014 and January 2016 raised excise duty on petrol and diesel on nine occasions to take away gains arising from plummeting global oil prices, has been criticised for not cutting excise duty despite a sustained rise in fuel prices since early July.
Mallya arrested in UK in ED money laundering case, gets bail
Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya was arrested here today in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate, before being released on bail by Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The 61-year-old flamboyant businessman, already out on bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Metropolitan Police earlier this year, was released on the same bail conditions as before to appear for his trial on December 4. Speaking to PTI outside the court room, Mallya said that has “done nothing wrong” and described the allegations against him as “fabricated”. “I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them,” he said. “I have not eluded any court. If it is my lawful duty to be here, I’m happy to be here,” he said, adding, “I’ve given enough evidence to prove my case.”
India gets increasingly monsoon-proof in farm output, but some areas still vulnerable
Indian agriculture’s reliance on monsoon rainfall has reduced considerably over the last few years thanks to the increase in area irrigated, although there are still pockets — particularly in east and central India — where rains still are a decisive determinant of crop. Key grain-producing states Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have most of the cropped areas under irrigation coverage (see table). Unless there is a large rain deficit as in 2009-10 or two successive of years of shortfall in precipitation as in 2014-15 and 2015-16, these states could produce robust crops.
In a first, India to export rice to Bangladesh as neighbouring country hit by shortfall
In a first of its kind arrangement between India and Bangladesh in recent years, India would be exporting around 5 lakh tonne of parboiled rice to Bangladesh for meeting its domestic demand and creating a buffer stock. Sources told FE that the India government has authorised agri cooperative Nafed to export rice to Bangladesh. At present, Bangladesh is facing a shortfall of 1.5 million tonne (mt) of rice this year due to crop losses by heavy flooding in the recent months.Bangladesh’s ministry of food has called a meeting on October 15 to decide on the prices and time-frame for supply of rice from India. As the rice exports would be carried on a G2G (government-to-government) basis, there would not be any tender for rice exports from India. Around 1.5 lakh tonne of rice has been already exported to Bangladesh by private trade this fiscal year.