India in 2 minutes

Mumbai court stops arrest of lawyer

A Mumbai court on Wednesday granted bail to lawyer Nikita Jacob, whom the police wanted to arrest for allegedly working with climate activist Disha Ravi on a document that allegedly was used to foment violence during a protest by farmers in Delhi last month.

Ms Ravi, who is linked to Swedish climate change campaigner Greta Thunberg, was arrested last weekend on charges of sedition and remains in police custody.

CM Thackeray warns of Maharashtra lockdown

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked people to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and social distancing or be prepared to face another lockdown as the state reported more than 3,000 cases of Covid-19 for the seventh straight day.

He expressed concern over the lackadaisical attitude in following Covid-19-related safety protocols. "Wear face masks and avoid crowds or else (you) will need to go into a lockdown again," he said.

Uttarakhand flood disaster hits Delhi water supply

The fallout from a devastating flash flood in remote Rishiganga valley in Uttarakhand hit New Delhi, which is more than 500km downstream, on Monday, when water supplies were cut to tens of thousands of residents.

Authorities blamed the high quantities of mud and debris from the Feb 7 deluge, which left more than 50 dead and 150 missing, for the shortages.

Former minister Akbar loses defamation suit

A court in New Delhi has rejected a defamation petition by former junior foreign minister M.J. Akbar against a journalist who accused him of sexual harassment in 2018.

Acquitting journalist Priya Ramani from charges of criminal defamation, a trial court in the capital said "a woman cannot be punished for raising their voice on the pretext of criminal defamation".

China emptying military camps at border flashpoint

China has dismantled dozens of structures and moved vehicles to empty out entire camps along a disputed Himalayan border, where Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a face-off since last year, satellite images released on Wednesday show.

The nuclear-armed neighbours last week announced a plan to pull back troops, tanks and other equipment from the banks of Pangong Tso, a glacial lake in the Ladakh region, that became a flashpoint in the prolonged border dispute.

2.5kg gold sari offered to goddess

A 2.5kg gold sari was offered to Goddess Yellamma at a temple and prayers at places of worship of all major faiths were held in Hyderabad on Wednesday to mark the 67th birthday of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaders K. Venkatesh Gound and Sivaramakrishna Reddy got the special sari made in Bengaluru.

Grenade attack on newspaper office in Manipur

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh announced on Tuesday that the state government has constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the recent grenade attack on the office of Imphal-based daily Poknapham.

"It was a cowardly attack on the media. I strongly condemn the attack. The attackers will be arrested soon," said Mr Singh.

Women front-desk executives of Delhi Police to wear saris

Women front-desk executives at the Delhi Police's various offices will soon be seen donning khadi silk saris.

The Khadi and Village Industries Commission has supplied 850 dual-tone saris, made of high-quality "Tasar-Katia Silk" and worth Rs25 lakh ($45,610), to the Delhi Police.

Mothers' market reopens after 11 months

The world's largest women-run market "Ima Keithel", or Mothers' Market, in Manipur's capital Imphal reopened on Monday after 11 months.

The market, which has a history of over 500 years, was closed on March 21 last year as a preventive measure amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh announced that the 3,600 women vendors at the market would be exempted from paying the licence fee for this year.

Usha Rao-Monari appointed UN under-secretary-general

Indian Usha Rao-Monari has been appointed under-secretary-general and associate administrator at the United Nations Development Programme.

The Delhi University graduate with a master's degree from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, Mumbai, has more than 30 years of investment experience in infrastructure and was a senior adviser with investment company Blackstone's Infrastructure Group.

Termites feast on Andhra pork seller's cash worth Rs5 lakh

A pork seller at Mylavaram in Andhra Pradesh's Krishna district lost Rs5 lakh after termites feasted on the currency notes that he had stuffed in a plastic bag.

"Jamalayya stuffed the cash in a plastic bag to protect it from his son who likes to booze," a police officer said. "He was saving money to build a house."

Fresh travel guidelines after new Covid-19 strains surface in India

A fresh set of travel guidelines has been issued by the Indian government after two highly infectious strains of Covid-19 - South African and Brazilian - were detected in India.

The South African strain has been detected in four people and the Brazil variant in one.

Under the new rules, only passengers who test negative in RT-PCR tests 72 hours ahead of departure will be allowed to board the aircraft. They apply to all incoming international passengers except those from the United Kingdom, Europe and Middle East.

Police probe baby's death in alleged monkey attack

A newborn child was allegedly killed by monkeys who abducted her and her twin sister from their home in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur district last Saturday.

While one child was found alive on the roof of the house by neighbours, the other was found dead in a moat, after being flung into it by the monkeys. "The mother was cooking while the twins were asleep," said a police officer.

"The monkeys could have got inside the house through the roof." The police are investigating

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