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2002 Gujarat riots: Hearing on Zakia Jafri's petition on conspiracy starts

Zakia Jafri_Wire_AFP/Sam Panthaky

Photo: AFP/Sam Panthaky

The Gujarat High Court began hearing Zakia Jafri's petition challenging a lower court's order that upheld the clean chit given by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots. Jafri's husband, former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, was among those who were killed in the riots. Advocate Mihir Desai, Jafri's lawyer, argued before Justice Sonia Gokani that the magistrate's court had wrongly held that it cannot order investigation of riots cases because it did not fall in its jurisdiction. He also contended that neither SIT nor the magistrate's court considered the first interim probe report of the SIT filed by its member A K Malhotra when the case was before the Supreme Court. Jafri had filed a complaint in the SC against Modi (the then CM of Gujarat) and 62 others including state ministers and others, alleging that they were part of a wider conspiracy behind the post-Godhra riots.

The SC asked the SIT to probe it. In February 2012, the SIT filed a closure report before the magistrate, giving a clean chit to Modi and others.

Maggi noodles safe finds FSSAI-approved lab

Maggi Noodles_Wire

Photo: Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India approved laboratory of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has found Maggi noodles to be in compliance with the country's food safety standards. CFTRI had tested five samples sent by Goa Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when Maggi was banned in June in the wake of findings in Uttar Pradesh and other states that the instant noodles brand had lead levels beyond permissible limits. In June this year, Nestle had to take Maggi off the shelves, after a few states decided to ban the noodles. FSSAI had also banned Maggi instant noodles, terming them "unsafe and hazardous" for human consumption.

Mullah Omar's son killed in Pakistan: Top Afghan lawmaker

The son of the late Taliban supremo Mullah Omar has been killed in Quetta. According to a top Afghan lawmaker, opposing factions and Pakistan had a hand in his death. Mullah Yaqub, who had hoped to succeed his father as the leader of the Taliban, was killed at a meeting in the city four days ago (Thursday), Afghanistan's Tolo TV reported, quoting Afghanistan's first deputy speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) Zahir Qadir. However, the Afghan Taliban rejected Qadir's claim that Mullah Omar's son had been killed in an attack in Pakistan. The claims and counter claims come amid a widening Taliban rift over Mullah Akhtar Mansour's nomination as the group's supremo following the announcement of Mullah Omar's death. Mullah Omar's family has refused to pledge allegiance to Mullah Mansour. Mullah Omar's son Yaqub had challenged Mullah Mansour's appointment as the Taliban chief.

Ban on porn sites to be lifted partially: Govt

Porn ban logo

Representative Image

Facing flak over blocking 857 websites, the government has reviewed its order and decided to lift the ban on sites which do not contain pornographic material. The decision follows a review of the earlier order, by which the Department of Telecom had asked internet service providers (ISPs) to block a total of 857 websites, although some websites were later found to host jokes, memes and other humorous content without any pornography. The directive has sparked off a raging debate on social media and other platforms with the government being accused of indulging in internet censorship.

26/11 mayhem planned, launched from Pak: former Pak top sleuth


Photo: AFP/Indranil Mukherjee

In deeply embarrassing disclosures for Pakistan, its chief investigator of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case has stated that the carnage was planned and launched from Pakistan and that the operation was directed from an operation room in Karachi. Tariq Khosa, a top police officer who was made Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) weeks after the 2008 Mumbai attack that left 166 people dead, has written a revealing article in Dawn newspaper giving graphic details of the plot and its investigation, thereby confirming what India has been saying for so long. Khosa also criticised the Pakistani investigation agencies for letting the trial "linger on for too long". "Dilatory tactics by the defendants, frequent change of trial judges and assassination of the case prosecutor as well as retracting from original testimony by some key witnesses have been serious setbacks for the prosecutors," he said

29 dead as Kamayani, Janata Express derail near Harda, Madhya Pradesh late night


Photo: AFP

Late last night, seven coaches of Kamayani Express and five bogies of Janata Express derailed while crossing a swollen Machak river near Harda. At least 29 people were killed and several others injured. Twenty four bodies, including nine men, 10 women and five kids, have been recovered so far from the mishap site between Khirkiya and Harda stations , MP Public Relation Department Commissioner Anupam Rajan told PTI today. The toll could further go up, he said. According to WCR PRO Piyush Mathur seven coaches of Kamayani Express and five bogies plus the engine of Janata Express were derailed late last night as the base material on the tracks got washed away. "Seven bogies of Kamayani Express and engine plus three coaches of Janata Express were derailed between Khirkiya and Bhirangi stations near Harda," Mathur said. "The mishap took place around 11.30 PM on Tuesday as base material of the tracks got washed away in heavy rains.

Udhampur attack: 3 hostages rescued, 1 terrorist killed and 1 captured


Photo: PTI

Three civilians who were taken as hostages by the militants in the Udhampur district of Jammu, have been rescued by the Border Security Forces (BSF). A terrorist has been killed and one other has been caught alive during the operation. The terrorist was caught after alert villagers misguided him and got him nabbed. Two terrorists are still hiding in the jungle according to media reports. Meanwhile, the dead body of the militant has been reportedly sent to police station after recovery. Earlier in the day, militants, who were reported reportedly wearing military uniforms, attacked BSF convoy on the highway near Samruli, about 10 km from Udhampur. Two BSF soldiers were killed and five were injured in the attack.

Begging for Aatention: Ballad-singing beggars are here to tell you about government schemes

Train beggars-

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After employing magicians to extoll the virtues of various government schemes, the Indian government is going a step further - beggars. As part of a new initiative mooted by the I&B ministry's Song and Drama division, around 3000 beggars will be trained to perform songs meant to raise awareness about government schemes. The beggars will be deployed on local trains in large cities in the hopes of reaching the common man. A "remuneration model" for the ballad-singing beggars is currently in the works. Whether the beggars will be drafted in American Idol-style, though, is yet to be seen.

Manual scavenging listed as a 'career option' on Govt portal

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Photo: Barcroft India/Barcoft Media/Getty Images

The National Career Services portal lists the prohibited and caste-entrenched work of manual scavenging as a career option. Listed in the 'unorganised sector', cleaning jobs are divided, focussing on 'key competency' to clean the sewage systems.What is more bizarre is that the even though the website lists prevalent health risks involved in these jobs, the same job hazards are being attributed to 'astrologers' and 'palmists'.The website has come under fire for overseeing the tangible problems involved in various jobs and not moving beyond the conventionally held views of them.

Source: The Hindu

Read more: Skill Dil: Modi's job portal makes a pitch for palmists, astrologers & moneylenders

Lord Balaji opens a demat account


File Photo

Tirupati deity Lord Balaji just opened a demat account with the Stock Holding Corporation of India. With the move, the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanams (TTD) shrine management that opened the account became the first shrine management in the country to take this route. The demat account enable devotees to donate share and securities. While the move may raise eyebrows, the TTD insists the move came about due to devotees dropping physical share certificates in the temple Hundi. The account was opened to ease the hassle of transferring physical share certificates to Balaji's name.

Buzz Aldrin claimed travel expenses for the journey to the moon

Buzz Aldrin-SSPL/Getty Images

Photo: SSPL/Getty Images

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon just tweeted pictures of a travel voucher for the Moon voyage. The grand amount? $33.31 for a return journey from Houston, Texas to the Moon. The amount is believed to be Aldrin's conveyance fare to and from Cape Kennedy. The voucher is hilariously meticulous and even notes that Aldrin will receive "government meals and quarters" for the duration of the journey to the moon. And just in case you thought astronauts didn't have to worry about customs, think again. Aldrin also put up pictures of a customs form the astronauts signed declaring things like moon dust and moon rock samples.

Yoga Day SMSes cost the Government Rs 15.87 crores


Photo: Praveen Bajpai/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

An RTI query filed by a resident of Ahmedabad has revealed that the Ministry of AYUSH spent Rs 15.87 crore on SMSes promoting Yoga Day. The government had sent multiple SMSes to users in the days leading up to Yoga Day encouraging people to take up Yoga and extolling its benefits. While the RTI reply answered the question of expenditure incurred, questions on the exact number of SMSes sent and the name of the company contracted to send the SMSes both went unanswered.

NHRC notices to Centre, states over charges of exploitation of Indians in Bangladesh

NHRC-Shazia Rahman/Getty Images

Photo: Shazia Rahman/Getty Images

The NHRC has issued notices to Home and External Affairs Ministry as well as West Bengal and Assam state governments asking them to enquire into the allegations of exploitation of Indians residing in Indian enclaves of Bangladesh. In a statement issued on 4 August, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said that many of them have allegedly not been included in Census for land compensation, and women are being "captured and sexually exploited". All the authorities concerned have been given four weeks' time to submit a detailed report in the matter.