☛ Pakistan stops Samjhauta Express
Pakistan stopped the Samjhauta Express at the Wagah border on August 8, citing security concerns, following which an Indian crew and guard escorted the train to Attari on the Indian side. According to officials, the train, which connects Lahore and Delhi, had 117 passengers, including 48 Pakistanis, on board. A day after Islamabad downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi, Pakistan’s Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Pakistan closed the Samjhauta Express train service with India.
☛ TS child rapist gets death
A local court here on August 8, sentenced a 26-year-old youth to death by hanging in the horrific rape and murder of a nine-month-old infant at Kumarpally in Hanamkonda on June 19 — the first case of capital punishment under the POCSO Act in Telangana.
First Additional District Judge K Jayakumar awarded death penalty to Polepaka Praveen, hailing from Vasanthapur village of Shayampet mandal in Warangal Rural district. The baby, who was asleep with her mother on the terrace of their house, was kidnapped, raped and murdered brutally by Praveen early on June 19.
☛ E-vehicles to promote Vijaya Dairy products
Minister for Cinematography, Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Talasani Srinivas Yadav said on August 8th that 200 electric vehicles would be purchased to take the products of the State Vijaya Dairy to the people.
Accompanied by Sandip Sultania, Secretary of Animal Husbandry, and Srinivas, Managing Director of Vijaya Dairy, the Minister inspected the first electric vehicle acquired by the department for promoting the dairy products.
The department would also set up outlets of the Vijaya Dairy.
☛ Karan Singh supports move on Article 370
Taking a stand different from his party’s, veteran Congress leader Karan Singh on August 8 said he does not agree with a blanket condemnation of the government’s decision on Jammu and Kashmir and pointed out what he called were its several positives. Karan Singh is the son of a former J&K ruler, the late Maharaja Hari Singh.
In a statement the “positive points” Singh counted included the Union Territory status for Ladakh, scrapping of Article 35 A, future delimitation of constituencies as a result of the State’s bifurcation into UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. However, he did not comment directly on Article 370 and also called for releasing the leaders of legitimate political parties in Jammu and Kashmir and initiate a broad-based political dialogue with them.
☛ Pranab, Nanaji, Hazarika conferred Bharat Ratna
Former president Pranab Mukherjee, late Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader Nanaji Deshmukh and late singer Bhupen Hazarika were conferred the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, on August 8.
President Ram Nath Kovind gave the award to Mukherjee, Hazarika’s son Tej and Vikramjeet Singh, a close relative of Deshmukh, at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. Hazarika and Deshmukh were given the Bharat Ratna posthumously.
- Mukherjee, fondly known as ‘Pranab Da’, has been the fifth President to receive this award. He was the president between 2012 and 2017.
- Deshmukh was associated with the RSS from 1928 till his death in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, in 2010 at the age of 94 and was known for starting a chain of RSS-inspired schools throughout India. He was one of the founder members of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, which later evolved as Bharatiya Janata Party. He was considered to be one of the architects of the Jai Prakash Narayan’s movement against the Emergency in 1975 and among the key persons in the formation of the Janata Party government in 1977.
- Born in 1926, Hazarika was a playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and filmmaker from Assam. He was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), Padma Shri (1977), Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1992), Padma Bhushan (2001) and Padma Vibhushan (2012-posthumously). Hazarika did his PhD from Columbia University in 1952. He died in 2011.
☛ AAP announces free WiFi facilities in New Delhi
The Delhi government on Thursday approved a proposal under which people will be able to avail free WiFi facility within the next three to four months. Announcing the Cabinet’s decision at a press conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said people will also be able to use up to 15GB free data every month. As per the plan, 11,000 hotspots will be set up across the city in the first phase, he said. All the 70 Assembly constituencies will have 1,000 hotspots. he said, adding 4,000 hotspots will be set up at bus queue shelters. Executed under a Public-private partnership (PPP) model, WiFi with 200 mbps internet speed will be available within 50 metre radius of the hotspot. The government will provide Rs 100 crore for the project annually, Kejriwal added. one hotspot would provide free WiFi connectivity to around 200 persons simultaneously. Providing free WiFi facility was a pre-poll promise of the Aam Aadmi Party in the 2015 Assembly elections.
☛ Gold breaches Rs 38,000-mark
Gold prices on Thursday crossed the Rs 38,000-mark for the first time by soaring Rs 550 to hit a fresh high of Rs 38,470 per 10 gram here, as investors continued to prefer the precious metal as a safe-haven asset amid the ongoing US-China trade tensions and over domestic economic concerns.
Crossing the Rs 44,000-mark, silver surged Rs 630 to hit Rs 44,300 per kg on increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers.
Analysts said international gold prices breaching $1,500 an ounce on Wednesday for the first time in six years amid growing US-China trade tensions, mainly prompted investors to rush towards gold. Concerns over the domestic economic slowdown too lifted the precious metal’s appeal.
☛ World Archery suspends AAI
The World Archery on Thursday suspended the Archery Association of India (AAI) for defying its guidelines by electing two parallel bodies, asking the federation to put its house in order by the end of this month.
The decision is effective from Monday and the last event in which the archers can participate under the Indian flag is the World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid from August 19-25.
“World Archery is implementing the decision taken in June by suspending the Archery Association of India,” World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen said in a statement.