Top news of the day: At least 18 Naxalites killed in encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker; Aditya Srivastava secures top rank in Civil Services 2023, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

April 16, 2024 07:33 pm | Updated 07:33 pm IST

This image from Google Maps locates Kanker district in Chhattisgarh.

This image from Google Maps locates Kanker district in Chhattisgarh.

Chhattisgarh | At least 18 Naxalites killed in encounter with security personnel in Kanker

At least 18 Naxalites were killed in an encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district on April 16, police said. Three security personnel suffered injuries in the fierce gun-battle and a large quantity of weapons was also recovered from the spot, they said. The gunfight took place at around 2 pm in Hapatola forest between Binagunda and Koronar villages under Chhotebethiya police station limits, when a joint team of the Border Security Force and the state’s District Reserve Guard was out on an anti-Naxal operation, a senior police official said.

UPSC Civil Services 2023 results declared, Aditya Srivastava secures top rank

The Union Public Service Commission on April 16 declared the results for the Civil Services Exam 2023, with Aditya Srivastava securing the top rank. Animesh Pradhan and Donuru Ananya Reddy secured the second and third ranks respectively, it said. Srivastava qualified the examination with Electrical Engineering as his optional subject. He has done his graduation (B Tech.) in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur.

Patanjali advertisements case | Supreme Court gives penitent Ramdev a week to take redeeming steps

Facing contempt action, a visibly contrite Baba Ramdev and his associate Acharya Balkrishna unconditionally apologised in an open court room on Tuesday for violating a Supreme Court order to not advertise the herbal wares of their company, Patanjali Ayurved, even as the Supreme Court said they are still “ not off the hook”. A Bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah gave the self-styled yoga guru and his associate a week to prove they were truly apologetic.

Lok Sabha polls | ECI bans Randeep Surjewala from campaigning for 48 hours over remarks on Hema Malini

The Election Commission of India on April 16 barred Congress leader Randeep Surjewala from campaigning for 48 hours over his alleged derogatory remarks against BJP MP Hema Malini. This is the first campaign ban imposed by the poll body in this Lok Sabha election cycle. The ECI on April 9 issued a show-cause notice to Mr. Surjewala for his alleged “undignified, uncivilised and vulgar” remarks against Ms. Hema Malini.

Lok Sabha polls 2024 | Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia among AAP’s star campaigners in Gujarat

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and senior AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, all of whom are behind bars, have been named by the party as star campaigners for the Lok Sabha polls in Gujarat. Arvind Kejriwal’s wife Sunita Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann are also among the list of 40 star campaigners, whose names have been submitted by the party to the Election Commission.

Modi takes on the Opposition in Gaya, says even BR Ambedkar cannot change the Indian Constitution

Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at the RJD chief Lalu Prasad for his remarks that the BJP’s leaders are allegedly attempting to change the Constitution. While addressing a public meeting at Gandhi Maidan in Gaya on April 16, Mr. Modi said that neither Modi nor the BJP or even Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar can change the Constitution of India. Mr. Modi’s statement came a day after Mr. Prasad issued the statement that the Prime Minister must take action against those leaders who are talking about changing the constitution.

Lok Sabha election 2024 | PM Narendra Modi is the instrument of the biggest, richest businessmen in India: Rahul Gandhi

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing an election rally in Kozhikode on April 16, calling him an instrument of a few rich businessmen in the country. Mr. Gandhi alleged that Mr. Modi’s job was to distract people from the real issues in the country, protect the richest businessmen in India and “forgive their bank loans”. “PM Narendra Modi is the instrument of five or six of the biggest, richest businessmen in India,” the sitting MP from Wayanad contended and claimed that Mr. Modi has given around ₹16 lakh crores to 20-25 people in the country.

Further escalation of tension between Iran and Israel may push up oil prices, says External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has expressed fear that any further escalation in the tension between Iran and Israel may have big consequences for India as it may push up oil prices. In an informal interaction with media persons in Bengaluru on April 16, Mr. Jaishankar observed that any escalation of the Middle East tension would translate to an increase in import costs, shipping costs, insurance costs and energy costs besides pushing up oil prices.

Money laundering case against Hemant Soren: ED arrests one more; conducts searches in Ranchi

The ED has made a fresh arrest in connection with the money laundering investigation against former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and others, official sources said on April 16. The federal agency also undertook some searches in Ranchi against a person named Antu Tirkey, who is allegedly linked to the case. The arrested person identified as Afshar Ali was lodged in jail under judicial custody in another money laundering case and the agency has taken his custody in the latest case after seeking a designated court’s permission.

India aims to achieve debris-free space missions by 2030

India has made a declaration to achieve debris-free space missions by 2030. Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman S. Somanath made the declaration on April 16, at the 42nd Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee annual meet. “This initiative aims to achieve debris-free space missions by all Indian space actors, governmental and non-governmental, by 2030. India encourages all state space actors to follow this initiative for long-term sustainability of outer space,” Mr. Somanath said.

Sri Lanka to resume talks with bond holders soon

The Sri Lankan government, which is trying to finalise a debt treatment plan with its private creditors, will resume talks with them in London after the World Bank’s Spring Meetings in Washington DC concludes later this week, authorities said. “We are confident that we will be able to talk to ISB holders and come to a final settlement before the IMF holds their next meeting in June where Sri Lanka’s third tranche will be released,” Sagala Ratnayake, Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of the Presidential Staff told local media on April 15.

Israel’s military chief says that Israel will respond to Iran’s weekend missile attack

Israel’s military chief said on April 15 that his country would respond to Iran’s weekend attack, but he did not elaborate on when and how as world leaders urged against retaliation, trying to avoid a spiral of violence in the Middle East. The Iranian attack on April 13 came in response to a suspected Israeli strike two weeks earlier on an Iranian consular building in the Syrian capital of Damascus that killed two Iranian generals. It marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Biden unlikely to enforce existing U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports after Israel attack

Iran’s missile and drone strike on Israel is unlikely to prompt dramatic sanctions action on Iran’s oil exports from the Biden administration due to worries about boosting oil prices and angering top buyer China, said analysts. Shortly after Tehran launched its weekend attack — retaliation for Israel’s suspected April 1 strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus — House Republican leaders accused President Joe Biden of failing to enforce existing measures and said they would take up this week a series of bills to sharpen sanctions on Iran.

IPL-17: GT vs DC | Gujarat Titans, Delhi Capitals search for consistency

Gujrat Titans will be striving for much needed consistency when they meet Delhi Capitals in an Indian Premier League match in Ahmedabad on April 17. Unlike the past two editions, the Gujarat Titans have not been able to play like a well-oiled machine though they still have time to fix the flaws.

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