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20 November 2018 Current Events NSA Ajit Doval interfered in the probe against Asthana, CBI tells Supreme Court

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has been accused by a CBI officer of interfering in the probe against CBI's number two Rakesh Asthana.

CBI officer Manish Kumar Sinha, who was also abruptly transferred while investigating the bribe charges against Asthana, has claimed that Doval did not allow crucial searches. He has also claimed that "a few crores were paid" to a Union Minister regarding the Qureshi case, ongoing in CBI. The Supreme Court, however, rejected Sinha's plea for an urgent hearing.


India the second most polluted country in the world

A study conducted by the Energy Policy Institute, University of Chicago has revealed that India is the world's second most polluted country.

The severity of the pollution is so much that it reduces the average lifespan by a period of four years, compared to what it would be if guidelines of WHO are met. Major north-Indian states have shown a great concentration of particulate pollution, like- Bihar, Haryana, National Capital Region (NCR), Uttar Pradesh, Punjab etc.


NSA Ajit Doval interfered in the probe against Asthana, CBI tells Supreme Court

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has been accused by a CBI officer of interfering in the probe against CBI's number two Rakesh Asthana.

CBI officer Manish Kumar Sinha, who was also abruptly transferred while investigating the bribe charges against Asthana, has claimed that Doval did not allow crucial searches. He has also claimed that "a few crores were paid" to a Union Minister regarding the Qureshi case, ongoing in CBI. The Supreme Court, however, rejected Sinha's plea for an urgent hearing.

India the second most polluted country in the world

A study conducted by the Energy Policy Institute, University of Chicago has revealed that India is the world's second most polluted country.

The severity of the pollution is so much that it reduces the average lifespan by a period of four years, compared to what it would be if guidelines of WHO are met. Major north-Indian states have shown a great concentration of particulate pollution, like- Bihar, Haryana, National Capital Region (NCR), Uttar Pradesh, Punjab etc.

Kolkata records air quality index worse than Delhi; becomes the most polluted metro city

While the national capital remains infamous for its suffocating air, it seems that another city has joined the league.

In the past 72 hours, the air quality index (AQI) of Kolkata has dipped down to "very poor", even surpassing the levels observed in Delhi. In both the cities, PM 2.5 concentration has been the leading cause of concern. There are 19 automatic stations in the capital to record AQI, as opposed to just two in Kolkata.

Grenade attack in Punjab killing three and injuring ten

On Sunday afternoon, two unidentified masked men forced their way into a weekly Nirankari prayer gathering, lobbing a grenade. With over 250 people present into the prayer hall, 3 have lost their lives, two in critical condition, with at least 20 injured.

The incident took place in Rajasansi branch of Nirankari Bhawan, Adliwal village in Amritsar. The two people fled the scenes, with the police now probing the matter. CM of Punjab, Amrinder Singh has cited the possibility of it being the work of Khalistani terror group. Compensation of Rs 5 Lakh each to the families of deceased have been announced by the state.

Cyclone Gaja: At least 22 dead in Tamil Nadu

Turning into a severe cyclonic storm, Gaja has already claimed 22 lives in Tamil Nadu, according to official estimates.

The coastal regions from district Nagapattinam to Point Calimore are said to have faced the wrath of Gaja, bearing the brunt. Midst the chaos, exams of Anna University, Chennai have been postponed.

CBI feud: Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal bar the agency

The CBI tussle has now spilled into a deeper level, with two states, namely- Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal barring CBI.

The fight now turning into a BJP vs non-BJP governments seems to have no near end. Andhra CM N Chandrababu Naidu had recently blamed the BJP government for using central agencies to destabilize his government.

Now, the TDP-ruled state has withdrawn the general consent given to CBI by states, meaning the agency will no longer be able to carry out searches, raids etc in the state without permission. Praising Naidu's move, Mamta Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal has declared that they "will do the same" in their state.

Cyclone Gaja: At least 7 dead in the Tamil Nadu havoc

Early morning today, Cyclone Gaja had gathered up its wind speed, reaching up to 120 km per hour.

The Tamil Nadu State Disaster Management Authority claims to have evacuated as many as 76,290 people by now. By 11 o'clock, Friday morning, 3 people in the Cuddalore district, 4 people in Thanjavur had already fallen prey to the cyclone.

Sabarimala temple reopens today; protestors again springing into action

BJP MP Shobha Karandaje has called Desai's actions as "another publicity stunt to hurt the Hindus".

The temple will remain open from today till November 22 for the main pilgrimage season. Trupati Desai, the Pune-based activist who had declared she would offer her prayers at the shrine, has been trapped at the Kochi Airport for hours now. The devotee protestors have declared they will not let her reach the temple.

Tamil Nadu: Cyclone Gaja to hit the state today; schools will remain shut

With warnings already in place, cyclone Gaja will arrive in Tamil Nadu today evening, causing heavy rainfall in the area. The Met office has predicted Gaja hitting the state with a wind speed of nearly 100 kmph, with its probabilities of crossing coast between Pamban and Cuddalore by tonight.

30,500 rescue personnel are already on standby, as per instructions by the Tamil Nadu government.

Two convicted for 1984 Sikh Killings

After 34 years of waiting, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday convicted two people for the murder of two Sikh men in 1984. This marks the first arrests by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the riots. The two Sikh men- Hardev Singh (24) and Avtar Singh (26) were murdered by a mob in Mahipalpur, South Delhi.

Judge Anjay Pandey, giving out the verdict said that "The common objective…. was to murder people of the Sikh community, which is clear from the slogans raised by its leaders and the manner in which the members carried out its objective". Naresh Sehrawat and Yashpal Singh- the convicts, were allegedly following the instructions of a Congress leader.

2002 Gujarat Riots: Supreme Court to hear pleas against 'clean chit' to PM and others on November 19

The apex court has fixed November 19, Monday, as the date to hear the petition filed by Zakia Jafri against the Special Investigating Team (SIT)'s clean chit to PM Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 riots.

On February 8 2012, the SIT had filed its closure report on the case, citing Modi 'clean', stating that no prosecutable evidence was present. Jafri is the wife of Ehsan Jafri, an ex-MP who was killed in the riots. The SC bench will consist of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Deepak Gupta.

Sabarimala Temple: Apex court will review its verdict in January

On November 13, the Supreme Court agreed to review its verdict, allowing women of all ages entry inside the temple.

A five-judge bench, led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi fixed January 22 as the date for reconsideration. However, meanwhile, the SC has refused to stay its initial verdict, much to the dismay of several devotees.

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi income tax case: SC to hear pleas today

The apex court will hear petitions filed by the Congress President, Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi today. The two had appealed against the Delhi High Court's decision to not give them relief in a case of re-opening tax assessments for 2011-12.

The appeals would be heard by a bench comprising of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer. The initial case had arisen, based on a complaint (private criminal complaint) by BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy.

Cyclone Gaja alert: Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh alerted

Several areas in southern India have been put on red alert as cyclone Gaja is likely to cause distress in the days to come.

Majority of places in Tamil Nadu will observe rainfall on November 14, while some will bear extremely heavy rainfall. South coastal area of the neighbouring state, Andhra Pradesh is also expected to undergo heavy rainfall in the coming days. Cyclone Gaja will arrive in the state of TN on November 15. Consecutively, the government has been put on alert, along with the union territory- Pondicherry.

BJP leader, Union Minister Ananth Kumar passes away at 59

Senior BJP leader, and in-charge of two key ministries, Ananth Kumar passed away at the age of 59  today, at a Bengaluru hospital. Suffering from cancer, he was being treated in New York, having returned to India only last month.

The veteran leader was among the few leaders to serve under Vajpayee's government as well, being the "youngest" minister in the cabinet. At the time of his death, Kumar was the Union Minister for Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. PM Narendra Modi has offered condolences to the family, calling Ananth Kumar a "Great asset to BJP". The state of Karnataka has declared a three-day mourning, showing respect.

Chhattisgarh phase one polling today - the battle begins in five states

The first phase of assembly elections polling in Chhattisgarh - for 18 seats, will take place today. The constituencies in polls are the sensitive Naxal affected areas, including Rajnandagoan - home district of the current CM, Raman Singh.

With the voting commencing in Chhattisgarh, the nation would watch in anticipation as the much-awaited assembly elections begin to unfold. Both the major parties- Congress and BJP have made some pretty big promises in their manifesto for the state.

Maoists movement in Chhattisgarh a day before assembly elections

A day before the first phase of assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Maoists movements are noted in different parts of the state. The use of drones has revealed terror threats from Maoists in all the 18 seats where Elections are going to take place. Today, Maoists created several explosions and took on the security forces in different parts of Chhattisgarh.

An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hit Mizoram

An Earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hit certain parts of Mizoram on Saturday night. As per the India Meteorological Department, the epicentre of the earthquake was 24 km below the ground level. In Aizawal, the tremors were also felt where people rushed out of their houses. However, there were no reports of any casualties or damages so far.

Karnataka by-poll election results to be announced today

Being seen as a crucial insight into people's mood ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Karnataka by-poll (2 assembly, 3 Lok Sabha seats) elections will be announced today.

The counting began amid tight security at 8 AM in the morning. A turnout of approximately 67% was observed, with 1,248 personnel deployed for the counting process. All eyes will be set on the Congress-JD (S) coalition and BJP. Bellary, the key seat in these by-polls, was over 1 lakh votes ahead of BJP in the morning.

India granted waiver by USA over Iran sanctions

The United States once again tightened the noose around Iran with its latest sanction, aimed at the oil and shipping industries.

Intitially, USA had planned to impose penalty on the countries purchasing crude oil from Iran. However, on Monday, it excluded eight countries- China, India, Japan, Turkey, Taiwan, Greece, South Korea, Italy. Crude exports constitute a major part of Iran's revenue- nearly one-third.




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