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VC faces heat at HCU academic council meeting

An academic council meeting at the University of Hyderabad on Wednesday saw vice chancellor Appa Rao Podile facing questions from his colleagues about his decision to return to the university - a decision that saw a police crackdown on students two weeks ago.

Rao has been charged with abetment in the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, according to The Telegraph.

"I wrote a letter to the VC stating that he has lost all moral authority.. How long can you run this institution by authority, aided by the police force?" said K Laxminarayana of the school of economics.

One day after taking oath in J&K, Sajid Lone resigns

One day after he was sworn in as part of the freshly-formed PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir, separatist-turned-politician Sajjad Gani Lone resigned.

Since he was made a minister from the BJP half of the coalition government, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti will not accept his resignation till she hears from the BJP.

Lone, the son of former separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone, resigned on Tuesday apparently because he was unhappy with his portfolio of Social Welfare and Administrative Reforms Training, according to The Indian Express.

ED tightens money-laundering case against Himachal CM Virbhadra Singh

As the Delhi high court directed Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh to cooperate with the CBI in a money-laundering case against him, the Enforcement Directorate said that Singh and his aide Anand Chouhan were involved in "a textbook case of money laundering".

The CBI and the ED allege that Singh had been trying to cover up unaccounted wealth of Rs 6 crore by buying property and LIC policies, according to the Hindustan Times.

BSP MP's daughter-in-law found dead, police file case of dowry death

The Ghaziabad police have registered a case of dowry death after the daughter-in-law of Bahujan Samaj Party Rajya Sabha member Narendra Kashyap was found dead with a gunshot injury at her Ghaziabad residence early on Wednesday morning.

A licensed revolver was discovered at the residence. The police filed the charge of dowry death on the basis of a complaint filed by the victim's family. The victim is 25-year-old Himanshi Kashyap who married Sagar Kashyap in 2013, according to The Indian Express.

CBI arrests police officer for conspiracy to murder RTI activist

The CBI on Wednesday arrested a crime branch inspector in Pune in connection with the 2010 murder of Pune-based RTI activist Satish Shetty.

"CBI has today arrested BR Andhalkar for his role in the conspiracy behind the murder of Satish Shetty with others, though his motive is yet to be established," said a CBI officer. "The inspector is also accused of fabricating and manipulating evidence at the time he was part of the local police team probing the murder to shield the real culprits."

This is the first arrest in the case, according to the Hindustan Times.

'Is India for Hindus only?': Nagpur bench to municipal corporation

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Tuesday asked the BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation if "India was for Hindus only".

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by senior RPI leader Janardhan Moon over the NMC's plan to recite the Hanuman Chalisa at an AIDS awareness event in association with religious charity Poddareshwar Ram Mandir Trust, according to the Hindustan Times.

The bench, comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Swapna Joshi, said: "Why only recital of Hanuman Chalisa and why not from Quran, the Bible or other religious literature?"

JIT visited India in a 'cooperative approach' against terrorism: Pakistan

Pakistan's foreign office issued a statement late on Wednesday evening, saying that the visit of its Joint Investigation Team to India in connection with the Pathankot terror attack was made as part of a cooperative approach to fight terrorism.

The statement came as India fumed after a report in a Pakistan daily claimed that one of the members of the JIT had anonymously said the Pathankot attack was a "drama" staged by India.

The statement did not mention the controversy, but tried to address India's misgivings about the JIT's visit to Delhi and Pathankot, according to the Hindustan Times.

Comets, asteroids made Mars habitable

Turns out, massive bombardment that occurred some four billion years ago by comets and asteroids as large as West Virginia may have made Mars more likely to support life. Researcher Stephen Mojzsis from the University of Colorado Boulder said that if early Mars was as barren and cold as it is today, massive asteroid and comet impacts would have produced enough heat to melt subsurface ice. The impacts would have produced regional hydrothermal systems on Mars similar to those in Yellowstone National Park, which today harbor chemically powered microbes, some of which can survive boiling in hot springs or inhabiting water acidic enough to dissolve nails. The study is published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Latur: Locals forced to travel distances in search of water

The locals in the drought-hit Latur District of Maharashtra are forced to travel long distances for water, as it is experiencing an unprecedented water scarcity this summer. According to the villagers, the administration sends limited water tankers to the village. The villagers either have to buy water or get them from the nearby farm. The women of the village have to bring water from across two kilometres. The villagers spent almost the whole day sourcing water. "We get water from relative's house which is almost two kilometres away. We don't have money to pay for water from the tanker. We can eat half a roti and sleep, but life can't function without water," said a local. Section 144 was imposed today in Parbani area after locals clamored for water resources.