Modi-Trudeau meet: Issued joint statement, focus on terrorism, trade ties

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau held extensive talks on important issues of counter-terrorism and extremism as well as ways to enhance trade ties on Friday, following which both sides inked six pacts, including on energy cooperation.

While addressing a joint media event after almost two-hour long meeting, PM Modi with the Canadian Prime Minister said that they discussed the whole range of the bilateral partnership. Stressing that it is vital that both countries work together to fight terrorism, Modi said that there must be no place for those who misuse religion for political goals. Prime Minister Modi has also cleared it that those who challenge India’s sovereignty and unity will not be endured. PM Modi’s comments come in the middle of criticism of the Trudeau government’s soft approach in the direction of the Khalistan issue and the controversy over a convicted Khalistani terrorist accompanying the Canadian PM on his week-long trip to India.

Examining that Canadian PM Trudeau has visited various parts of India in last few days, PM Modi has said that the Canadian counterpart should have experienced the diversity of the nation. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, on his side, called India as a natural partner for commercial cooperation. Prior to this, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the Canadian Prime Minister and talked over a various matter of concerns of mutual interest. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that the minister had a cordial meeting the Canadian PM and discussed ways to brace and develop the partnership between the two countries.

60 Delhi police cops arrive at Kejriwal’s home to review CCTV footage

A Delhi Police team, including cybercrime and forensics experts, arrived at chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Friday morning to gather evidence linked to the alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash by AAP MLAs on Monday night. “Around 60 police personnel reached CM’s residence at Flag Staff Road in New Delhi to search the place without any intimation,” a Delhi government official said.

The Delhi CM Kejriwal was also present at his residence when the police led the search. On Tuesday, the Delhi police had registered an FIR against AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan and others on the complaint of chief secretary Anshu Prakash. The chief secretary had alleged that AAP MLAs assaulted him during a meeting at Kejriwal’s official residence on Monday night. The Delhi Police visited at the CM’s residence two days following the arrest of AAP MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal in the case. The deputy commissioner of police (DCP) (North) Harender Singh confirmed the presence of police team, forensic experts and cyber crime cell at the Kejriwal’s residence. Singh, who was present at the CM’s residence, said that “We are at the scene of the crime”.

“CM house taken over by police. Huge number of police force enters CM house without any intimation. Police Raj kills democracy in Delhi. Police spread all over inside house. If this what they can to do an elected CM, think what they can with poor people!!!,” Delhi government spokesperson Arunoday Prakash tweeted. Arunoday, in his another tweet, described the search an effort to humiliate the Delhi CM Kejriwal. “There is minimum courtesy in democracy. Every citizen has rights under constitution. Is it an attempt to humiliate a CM who is working tirelessly for the poor and the last man of the society,” he said in his another tweet.

Man tries to forcibly kiss girl at railway station in Navi Mumbai, arrested

On Thursday, a 43-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly tried to forcibly kiss a woman commuter in Navi Mumbai by the Railway Protection Force (RPF), said media reports. According to CNN-News18, the identified accused Naresh Joshi molested the woman while she was waiting to board a local train to Ghansoli for work.

“We have registered a case under IPC section 354 (A) (sexual harassment) and are investigating the matter,” inspector Krishna Kadam at Vashi was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror. The whole incident had been captured on CCTV camera footage, which was being monitored by an RPF team. After the team witness the accused suspiciously hanging around the station premises after molesting the woman, constables were rushed to the spot. The police next approached the victim and based on her directions traced the suspect to a subway, the Firstpost reported the Mumbai Mirror report.

A 23-year-old man, in a similar incident in January, was arrested for abusing and forcibly kissing his ex-girlfriend in public on Carter road in Mumbai, Hindustan Times had reported. The woman had alleged that when she was with her friends on Carter road, the accused blocked her path and forcibly kissed her. An 18-year-old girl was allegedly molested in another incident in the same month on a Mumbai-bound express train. The victim had tweeted to police while she was traveling in the Konark Express about her “harassment by an unidentified molester”.

Amitabh Bachchan starts following Congress leaders on Twitter, sparks rumors

The Bollywood living legend Amitabh Bachchan has started following some senior Congress leaders on Twitter, fueling speculation over his unpredictable interest in the party that he was once close to and had later given up from. The 75-year-old actor started following P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Ahmed Patel, Ashok Gehlot, Ajay Maken, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot and CP Joshi from this month after following Congress president Rahul Gandhi and the party’s official Twitter handle.

Bachchan freshly also started following party leaders Manish Tewari, Shakeel Ahmed, Sanjay Nirupam, Randeep Surjewala Priyanka Chaturvedi and Sanjay Jha on Twitter, where the actor has been followed by over 33.1 million followers. The actor was once close to the Nehru-Gandhi family and was a friend of Rajiv Gandhi, and is presently brand ambassador of Gujarat. The 75-year-old actor has more than 33.1 million followers on Twitter and follows only 1,689 people. Bachchan’s immediate love for the Congress and some other opposition leaders have come as a surprise for the party. The actor has started followings some other opposition leaders recently, including RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his daughter Misa Bharti, JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury.

Some of the AAP leaders he started following lately are Gopal Rai, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Ashish Khetan and Kumar Vishwas. One of the Congress leaders recently followed by the actor, Manish Tewari, thanked him but did not utter anything more on its timing and political significance. “Thank you Sh Amitabh Bachan for following me and it is my privilege to follow the icon of Indian cinema who we grew up watching first-day first-show every new release. Those days in late 70s & early 80s a balcony ticket in Chandigarh was Rs 3. Unbelievable today! @SrBachchan,” he tweeted. The Bollywood also follows a number of BJP leaders. Recently, he started following ministers like Nitin Gadkari and Suresh Prabhu.

CM Nitish Kumar had sent ghosts to my bungalow, says Lalu’s son Tej Pratap Yadav

The RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s elder son and Minister Tej Pratap Yadav said he evacuated his official bungalow last week as Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has sent loose ghosts to scare him out of it. “I decided to vacate the bungalow because Nitish and Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi had released ghosts in it. The ghosts were haunting me,” Tej told reporters on Sunday.

The bungalow (3, Deshratna Marg) was allocated to Tej following he became the health minister in the Nitish Kumar-led alliance government after the October-November 2015 election. The Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) of RJD, JD(U) and Congress had won 178 assembly seats in the House of 243, limiting the BJP to 53. About 20 months on, Nitish separated ways with the two allies and formed a government in alliance with the BJP on July last year. The state building construction department (BCD) sent notices to the former RJD and Congress ministers in August last year, asking them to vacate their official bungalows.

Lalu’s son Tej is famous for his hyper-religious and superstitious beliefs. He had a ‘dushman maraan jaap’ (chant of hymns to eliminate enemies) was organized at his bungalow in June last year when the central agencies were investigating corruption charges against his family, sources close to him recalled. The RJD spokesperson Shakti Singh Yadav said Tej decided to free the accommodation following receiving a second notice. However, the BCD minister Maheshwar Hazari said that his department has not been updated by Tej that he had emptied the accommodation.

Rahul Gandhi is making efforts to understand the issues, says Sharad Pawar confirming his support to Congress

On Wednesday, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said that there should not be any caste-based reservations. He told Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray in an interview that only economically backward sections should get benefits of reservation.

In a first of its kind interview, Pawar spoke to a crowded audience at Pune’s BMCC ground. The NCP leader, who is used to give ‘political advice’ to the Prime Minister, said PM Modi is working monotonously and there is a lack of teamwork in the government. He had some good words for the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and said that “the Congress has the strength to provide an option for the BJP in the country.” When Thackeray asked Pawar whom he would prefer to support, the NCP leader immediately replied, “I will go with Congress. Rahul Gandhi has changed in the last few years and he is making efforts to understand the issues. He is traveling across the country and mixing with all sections of the society. He is getting support from youth.”

The 77-year-old NCP leader has praised the Congress leadership and said that it is a sign of the future politics in the state. Pawar also criticized the bullet train project and commented that “Considering the number of passengers, there is no need for a special train. But the government is going ahead with the project. No one from Mumbai will go to Ahmedabad, but people from there will come to Mumbai”. He added that he doubted that “there might be a possibility of taking financial control in their hands. Bullet train project is required on Mumbai-Delhi route or Mumbai-Chandrapur route. Now education boards in Virar-Palghar area are changing from Marathi to Gujarati”.

While criticizing the PM Modi, the NCP leader said that “Ruling in one state like Gujarat is not same as ruling the country. Teamwork is needed while ruling in the country, which is completely lacking and no one is taking responsibility”.

Army chief should not interfere in political matters, says Owaisi

On Thursday, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi criticized General Bipin Rawat for talking about the growth of Maulana Badruddin Ajmal-led AIDUF (All India United Democratic Front) in Assam, adding the Army chief must not participate in political issues as it not his work to comment on the rise of a political party.

Owaisi also notified General Rawat in a tweet that the Army will always work under an elected civilian leadership in India. Stressing that the “population dynamics” of the North-East region can be no longer changed, the Army chief on Wednesday mentioned to the “faster pace” of the rise of AIUDF in Assam. While addressing at a seminar on ‘North East Region of India’ – Bridging Gaps and Securing Borders’, organized by the Centre for Joint Warfare Studies and Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff the Ministry of Defence, General Rawat said, “I don’t think you can now change the population dynamics of this area. If it was five districts to eight to nine… the inversion has taken place, whichever be the government.”

“There is a party called AIUDF, if you look at… they have grown in a faster time-frame than the BJP has grown over the years. When we talk of Jan Sangh with two Members of Parliament and where they have reached, AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in the state of Assam. Finally, what will be the state of Assam, we will have to take a call,” he added. Formed in 2005 with an aim to fight for the cause of Muslim community, the AIDUF presently has three parliamentarians in Lok Sabha and 13 legislators in the state assembly.