Breaking News, December 21 | LIVE UPDATES – India TV News

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National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Chairperson Iqbal Singh Lalpura on Wednesday said only Kerala and Delhi have framed rules under the Anand Marriage Act for Sikhs enacted in 1909 and added they are taking up the issue of its implementation with various state governments. Lalpura, who called on Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at the Raj Bhavan here, said he was happy that the Union territory administration will frame rules under the Act within a few days.
Delhi logged five COVID-19 cases with a positivity rate of 0.19 per cent, according to data shared by the Health department on Wednesday.
It also recorded one fatality. With the fresh cases, the national capital’s COVID-19 case tally has risen to 2,007,102 while the death toll stands at 26,520.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many foreign countries, the Kerala government on Wednesday sounded an alert of a possible spread of the virus and directed the district authorities to gear up the whole genome sequencing of positive case samples for tracking the new variants.
 Anticipating a huge rush at the upcoming Gangasagar Mela, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said the administration was taking necessary steps to ensure the success of the annual religious event. Asserting that the “Gangasagar Mela is organised on the same scale as the Kumbh Mela”, the CM, who took stock of the state’s preparedness for the annual congregation, urged central government offices, the railways, the Army, the Navy and the NDRF to extend necessary assistance to the state for the event, scheduled to be held from January 8-17.
PM Modi has expressed anguish over death of students in school bus accident in Manipur’s Noney district, and announced Rs 2 lakh ex gratia to kin of each deceased.
US says it will send Patriot missile battery to Ukraine as part of $1.85B aid package, ahead of Zelenskyy-Biden meeting, reports AP
Election to pick new mayor of Delhi after high-stakes municipal polls will be held on January 6 and last date to file nominations is December 27, Officials said.
A woman with travel history to America was found BF.7 variant positive on November 18 in Vadodara. She recovered after home isolation and her condition is normal. There is no need to panic, situations are under control, said Banchhanidhi Pani, Vadodara, Municipal Commissioner.
The Delhi High Court has sought the stand of a lawyer on a contempt case initiated against him for his “unwarranted outburst” in front of a judge which disrupted the proceedings. A division bench headed by Justice Siddharth Mridul, hearing the case based on the directions of the judge, issued notice to the lawyer and asked him to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him. The judge, in the order directing registration of a contempt case, has recorded that on December 14 the lawyer “verbally attacked the bench” while refusing to “remove himself” from the Bar, “continued to shout, shriek and create an unruly scene, disrupting court proceedings”, and was “virtually holding the court to ransom”.
At least 11 people were injured in a pile-up involving several vehicles on the Lucknow-Gorakhpur National Highway due to low visibility caused by dense fog on Wednesday, police said. A bus overturned after colliding with a truck in the GIDA area here which led to the pile-up of more than 12 other vehicles.
Thanks to satellite images provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has been able to establish how an alleged drug trafficker built a palatial bungalow in a Gujarat village by using his ill-gotten wealth. Isa Rao, who is absconding, is one of the main accused in the seizure of heroin worth Rs 600 crore by the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) in Morbi district of the state in November 2021. The probe was later handed over to the NCB.
Satellite images provided by ISRO’s Advanced Data Processing Research Institute (ADRIN) showed how he developed his property at Jodia village in Devbhumi-Dwarka district over three years and constructed a bungalow worth more than Rs 50 lakh, said a senior NCB official on Wednesday. The images showed the stages of construction from 2019, he said.
Ramanagara District in-charge Minister C N Ashwath Narayan has urged Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to constitute a development committee to build a temple at Ramadevarabetta on the lines of Sri Ram temple at Ayodhya.
In a letter to Bommai and Muzrai Minister Shashikala Jolle, he demanded that Ramadevarabetta in Ramanagara district of Karnataka should be developed as the Ayodhya of South India.
Narayan said that Sri Ram temple should be built using 19 acres of space which belong to the Department of Muzrai at Ramadevarabetta. “There is a strong belief among the people of the region that Sugriva installed Ramadevarabetta. Considering the religious feelings of the people of the district, Ramadevarabetta should be developed as a heritage and attractive tourist spot. This would enable us to portray our culture as well as nurture tourism,” he has opined.
The Centre has sought applications from eligible candidates to fill posts Information Commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC). Transparency watchdog CIC is headed by the Central Information Commissioner and can have a maximum of 10 Information Commissioners.
Persons who have attained the age of 65 years shall not be eligible for appointment, an order issued by the Union Personnel Ministry said. “It is proposed to appoint Information Commissioners, not exceeding six, as may be deemed necessary in the Central Information Commission,” it said.
The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the company involved in the maintenance and operation of the Morbi suspension bridge, which collapsed in October killing 135 people, on a plea seeking the company be made a respondent in the suo motu proceedings initiated by the HC. A division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri issued notice to Ajanta Manufacturing Limited on the plea which stated the “acts of malfeasance on its (the company’s) part makes it liable for the payment of exemplary damages.”
The HC said it had initiated suo motu proceedings after taking cognizance of news items on the death of 135 persons in the October 30 bridge collapse tragedy.
Covid cases detected in India: At least four cases of Omicron subvariant BF.7, apparently the strain driving China’s current surge of Covid cases, have been detected in India so far, official sources said Wednesday. 
A Pakistan drone that reportedly dropped drugs into India along the International Border in Punjab was intercepted by BSF troops following which it fell on the other side, a senior officer said Wednesday. The drone was “downed” by Border Security Force (BSF) troops around 7:20 pm on Tuesday and it has been taken away by the Pakistan Rangers, he said.
The incident took place near the Daoke border post in Amritsar.
The drone was seen lying 20 metres inside the Pakistan territory opposite Indian border post Bharopal when the area was searched on Wednesday morning. The troops later recovered a packet containing 4.3 kgs of suspected heroin behind the border fence in Bharopal village, a BSF spokesperson said.
A Pakistan drone that reportedly dropped drugs into India along the International Border in Punjab was intercepted by BSF troops following which it fell on the other side, a senior officer said Wednesday. The drone was “downed” by Border Security Force (BSF) troops around 7:20 pm on Tuesday and it has been taken away by the Pakistan Rangers, he said.
The incident took place near the Daoke border post in Amritsar.
The drone was seen lying 20 metres inside the Pakistan territory opposite Indian border post Bharopal when the area was searched on Wednesday morning. The troops later recovered a packet containing 4.3 kgs of suspected heroin behind the border fence in Bharopal village, a BSF spokesperson said.
The Delhi Police destroyed over 2,800 kgs of drugs worth Rs 1,513.05 crore seized under a campaign here on Wednesday, officials said. Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora were present when the drugs were destroyed in an incinerator in Delhi’s Nilothi, they said. The police said effective action is being taken against traffickers under the Centre’s ‘Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ to eradicate the drug menace from Delhi-NCR.
The drugs which were destroyed include four kg of Ketamine, five kg Pseudoephi, 26.161 kg charas, 3.4 grams LSD, 204 grams of cocaine, 2,372.830 kg of ganja, 213.697 kg heroin/smack, 22.378 kg crude heroin, 39 bottles Pakvil, 32 tablets Addiso KN, and 238.652 kg psychotropic substances, officials said.
Yashodhara Shinde, 21, aspired to become a doctor and was pursuing the medical course in Georgia, but fate had something else in store for her as she returned to her village in Maharashtra, contested the sarpanch election and won it too. She now plans to work for the betterment of her village Vaddi in Miraj tehsil of Sangli district and also complete her education online.
Talking to PTI, Shinde said she wants to make women self-reliant, introduce e-learning and other education tools for students, help children adopt good health habits, contribute towards the betterment of youth’s aspirations and welfare of the farmers’ community in the village.
Opposition BJP has alleged that Odisha is “unsafe” for women and children and BJD government’s claim about women empowerment in the state is “hollow”. Atrocities against women and children, particularly minor girls, have increased alarmingly in recent years, Odisha BJP Mahila Morcha president Smruti Pattnaik claimed.
The ruling BJD dismissed the charges and said its efforts to empower women through the SHG movement have been appreciated by the BJP-led government at the Centre itself, besides Niti Aayog and the United Nations.
Only 27-28 per cent of India’s eligible population have taken the precaution dose of COVID-19, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul on Wednesday and advised people to take the jab and wear masks in crowded places. He urged people not to panic and clarified that there was no change in the guidelines for international air travel so far. “People should wear masks in crowded areas. Those who have comorbidities or are elderly should especially adhere to this,” Paul said.
Paul made the statements following a review meeting held by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya amid a surge in Covid cases globally, especially in China. “In view of the rising cases of COVID-19 in some countries, I reviewed the situation with experts and officials today. Covid is not over yet. I have directed all concerned to be alert and strengthen surveillance. We are prepared to manage any situation,” Mandaviya said in a tweet.
Five students were killed and over 20 others injured after a school bus overturned in Manipur’s Noney district on Wednesday, police said. The accident happened on Old Cachar Road near the Longsai area of the hill district, around 55 km from state capital Imphal, they said.
The students of Thambalnu Higher Secondary School went on an annual school study tour to Khoupum in Noney district in two buses. The bus in which the girl students were travelling overturned after the driver lost control of it, police said. “Deeply saddened to hear about the accident of a bus carrying school children at the Old Cachar Road today. SDRF, Medical team and MLAs have rushed to the site to coordinate the rescue operation. Praying for the safety of everyone in the bus,” Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted, sharing a video clip of the overturned bus. The injured students were being shifted to the state capital for treatment, officials said.
The opposition Congress on Wednesday moved a no-confidence motion against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly. The motion, moved by Leader of Opposition Govind Singh, was admitted by Speaker Girish Gautam after state Home and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra said the government was ready for a discussion.
The government on Wednesday asked YouTube to take down three channels for making false and sensational claims about various public welfare initiatives and spreading fake news. The three channels were declared as peddlers of fake news by the Press Information Bureau Fact Check Unit on Tuesday.
Amid the border row between Maharashtra and Karnataka, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday alleged CM Basavaraj Bommai of igniting a fire in the matter and warned they will enter the adjoining state just like “China has entered India”. While speaking to the media on Wednesday, Raut asserted that the border issue between both states is seven decades old and Maharastra wants to solve the problem through dialogue and discussion.

Nearly three days after the Talibani militants seized the Counter-Terrorism Depart­­ment (CTD) building in Pakistan’s Bannu, it has been freed on Tuesday following a military operation. According to a report by the Pakistani English daily, Dawn, at least 25 Afghani militants were killed while three security forces lost their lives during the operation. The major development came following a complete seizure of the CTD building by the detained Talibani militants. As per Pakistani media, one of the detained militants snatched an AK-47 gun from an interrogator and subsequently freed his other inmates. 
A 34-year-old man has been found dead in Maharashtra’s Palghar district and police suspect it to be a case of murder, an official said on Wednesday. A passer-by spotted the body of the victim, identified as Sunil Tiwari, at an isolated place in Valiv area on Tuesday evening and alerted police, he said. The police rushed to the spot and sent the body to a government hospital for post-mortem, the official from Valiv police station said. The victim had been strangulated to death by some unidentified persons and the body dumped at the isolated place, he said.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav has alleged that the National Human Rights Commission’s action in the Saran hooch case was part of a “propaganda” carried out to “defame” the Nitish Kumar government at the BJP’s behest. The state government has confirmed 38 deaths in Saran making it the biggest hooch tragedy in the state since it went dry in April 2016. The figure has been hotly contested by the BJP which has claimed that more than 100 people have died. Yadav, who also holds the health portfolio, was asked by reporters about the Saran visit of a team of the NHRC which had last week slapped the government with a notice after the deaths caused by spurious liquor consumption.
Amid the raging border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka, Nationalist Congress Party leader Jayant Patil has said Maharashtra should raise the height of the upstream dams to “rein in” the neighbouring state. The decades-old boundary dispute issue was raised in the legislatures of both the states on Tuesday. Speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly here on Tuesday, Patil said Karnataka was deliberately harassing Marathi-speaking people in its border areas. “We should reply to what the Karnataka chief minister says in the same language. If they have so much attitude, then we will raise the height of dams on Koyna and Warna rivers and that of all the dams in Satara and Kolhapur districts. They (Karnataka leaders) would not be brought under control otherwise,” the former Maharashtra water resources minister said.
The United States has condemned the recent decision of the Taliban with regard to imposing restrictions on education of women in Afghanistan. “The United States condemns the Taliban’s indefensible decision to prevent Afghan women from receiving a university-level education,” White House NSC spokesperson Adrienne Watson said on Tuesday. “This deplorable decision is the latest effort by Taliban leadership to impose additional restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan and prevent them from exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday faced calls from the Opposition for resignation after the Bombay High Court’s status quo order on allotment of government land in Nagpur when he was the urban development minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi dispensation, but he denied any wrongdoing and rejected the demand to quit.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-led ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ entered Haryana Wednesday morning in the presence of senior party leaders from the state. The Yatra entered Haryana from Mundaka border in Nuh. It had crossed over from Rajasthan into Haryana. While Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot accompanied it from his state, it was welcomed in Haryana by senior leaders, including former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, Deepender Singh Hooda, state party chief Udai Bhan, among others. The first phase of Bharat Jodo Yatra in Haryana will conclude on December 23.
Several local governments in China encouraged people with mild cases of COVID-19 to go to work this week, another sign of the difficulty the country faces as its rollback of virus-containment measures sets off a wave of infections- and a growing number of deaths.
Health authorities reported Tuesday that five people died in the latest 24-hour period, all in Beijing, fueling concern that the toll could rise sharply after the lifting of most “zero-COVID” restrictions. The official toll likely understates the actual number, and it’s unclear how the unleashing of the virus will play out in China and whether the health care system can handle a surge in cases nationwide.
The city of Guiyang in southern Guizhou province proposed that infected people with little or no symptoms go to work in a range of sectors, including government offices, state-owned companies, medical, health and emergency workers and those in express delivery and supermarkets.
That’s a sea change from just a few weeks ago, when China’s policy was to isolate anyone infected at a hospital or government-run facility. The announcement Tuesday followed similar ones from the cities of Wuhu in Anhui province and Chongqing earlier this week. The moves appear to be in response to worker shortages that have affected medical care and food deliveries.
Several prominent people from south-India had given kickbacks of around Rs 100 Cr to AAP government here in exchange of favours and undue benefits to them in the liquor business, the ED has alleged in its charge sheet filed before a city court in Delhi excise scam. The ED alleged in its charge sheet filed against businessman Sameer Mahendru and AAP’s communication in-charge Vijay Nair had hatched a conspiracy with K Kavitha, MLC of Telangana, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (MSR), MP of Ongole (Andhra), his son Raghav Magunta, and Sarath Reddy, who are collectively called as South Group. “Mahendru, in collusion with others, formed a cartel of retailer-wholesaler-manufacturer with Pernod Ricard, Benoy Babu, Vijay Nair, representative of AAP, Arun Pillai, K Kavitha, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy (MSR), his son Raghav, Sarath Reddy, Abhishek Boinpally and Buchi Babu,” it alleged, adding that the ‘south group’ was represented by Arun Pillai, Abhishek Boinpally and Buchi Babu. 
The Russian government has intensified its crackdown on critics and what it sees as harmful information about its “special military operation” in Ukraine with moves to ban a human rights group and publication of maps that omit annexed Ukrainian land. The crackdown fits a theme Russian President Vladimir Putin sounded Tuesday in a video address honouring Russia’s military and security agencies. Putin, a former KGB operative, called on those forces to redouble their efforts to protect the stability of society and the security of the government against “direct threats to internal security.”
A powerful earthquake rocked the Northern California coast early Tuesday, jolting residents awake as it shattered glass, shook homes off foundations, damaged roads and left nearly 60,000 homes and businesses in the rural area without power and many without water. At least 12 people were injured. “It felt like my roof was coming down,” Cassondra Stoner said. “When I woke up, the only thing I could think about was, Get the freaking kids.’” When the ground stopped moving, Stoner’s family was fine — a daughter even slept through the racket. But when she showed up to work at Dollar General, she found tiles had fallen from the ceiling, shelves were toppled and the contents of the discount store were scattered on the floor.
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