Top news of the day: Terror attack threat came from number with Pakistan code, say Mumbai Police; AAP-BJP war of words escalates over CBI searches in excise policy case, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

August 20, 2022 07:27 pm | Updated 08:27 pm IST

Police personnel patrol at Dadar beach in Mumbai.

Police personnel patrol at Dadar beach in Mumbai. | Photo Credit: PTI

‘26/11-type attack’ threat | Messages came from number that has Pakistan code: Mumbai police chief

“Police received messages around 11.30 p.m. on Friday, which threatened that a 26/11-like attack would be carried out in Mumbai and the city would be blown up. There was a mention of 26/11 attacks terrorist Ajmal Kasab and (deceased) al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in the messages,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar said.“ It was also mentioned that some of their aides are working in India. Prima facie, the threat messages came from a number that has the country code of Pakistan,” he said.

Earlier in the day, a city police official said that the text messages were received on the WhatsApp number of the Mumbai traffic police’s helpline operated from its control room located at Worli.

AAP-BJP war of words escalates over CBI searches in excise policy case

“The excise policy that has triggered all this was the best excise policy to have ever been formulated in the country,” Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, adding, “if the then LG had not made changes to it 48 hours before its implementation, the Delhi government would’ve been getting ₹10,000 crore in revenue from excise every year.” Mr. Sisodia also said that the 2024 parliamentary elections will be fought between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Meanwhile, at a press conference, Union Minister Anurag Thakur accused the Aam Aadmi Party of trying to divert the issue from the alleged scam by linking the CBI action to politics as its “real face has been unmasked”. Further,  Mr. Thakur also said the AAP had made tall claims ahead of a number of elections but could not stand before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Farmers’ agitation ends in Lakhimpur Kheri after officials meet protesters

A farmers’ agitation seeking the removal of Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra and a law guaranteeing MSP among other demands, was called off Saturday after top district officials met the protesters, Samyukta Kisan Morcha leader Rakesh Tikait said. Addressing the farmers, Mr. Tikait said the future strategy of the SKM will be chalked out during a meeting in Delhi on September 6.

Court’s bail conditions for Varavara Rao: Reside in Mumbai, no visitors at home, don’t contact co-accused

A special court in Mumbai restricted poet-activist P. Varavara Rao from having a “gathering of visitors” at his residence in Mumbai, and asked him not to indulge in any “criminal activities, similar to the case against him or otherwise” and not to contact any co-accused in the case or any other person involved in similar activities. It directed the accused not to make any statement to media — be it print, electronic and social — regarding to the case. He shall not commit any other offence either of similar or any other nature and not indulge in any activity regarding which present crime is registered against him, the court said.

Anubrata’s bail rejected, sent to CBI custody till August 24

 Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal was arrested on August 11 and during the day was produced before the court in Asansol in connection with a cross border cattle smuggling scam. The counsels appearing for the TMC leader sought bail on grounds that he wasn’t keeping well and he requires treatment at a prominent health facility. The advocates appearing for CBI opposed the bail prayer on grounds that Mr. Mondal is an “influential” and “powerful” person and can manipulate and tamper the evidence if granted bail. The Court rejected the bail petition and directed that Mr. Mondal was remanded into CBI custody till August 24.

Cloudbursts kill four in Uttarakhand, swollen rivers wash away bridges

A series of cloudbursts hit different parts of Uttarakhand early on Saturday killing four people while 10 went missing as rivers breached their banks and washed away bridges, officials said. A cloudburst occurred around 2.15 am in Sarkhet village in the Raipur area, they said, adding a bridge over the Song river near Thano got washed away while the Kempty Falls, a popular tourist spot near Mussoorie, was also flowing dangerously.

6 killed, 13 feared dead in separate incidents of flash flood, landslide in Himachal Pradesh

Six people were killed and 13 others were feared dead in separate incidents of flash flood and landslide triggered by heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh, officials said on August 20. Twenty-two people, who were stranded following a flash flood in the State’s Hamirpur district, were evacuated safely, they said.

Normal life affected due to heavy rains across Odisha; five die in wall collapse

Heavy rain lashed northern Odisha districts of Mayurbhanj and Balasore affecting normal life. Bhogarai in Balasore district received highest 226mm rainfall followed by 211mm rainfall at Phiringia in Kandhamal and 196.4mm at Nawana in Mayurbhhanj district. Five persons including three minors died in separate incidences of wall collapse, road communications have been snapped and thousands of acres of crop have gone down under floodwater.

Sri Lankan Minister says India understands its situation on arrival of Chinese ‘spy ship’

Amid concerns over the arrival of Chinese ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ to Sri Lanka, the country’s Tourism Minister Harin Fernado said that he hoped it would not cause a major diplomatic row as India understands its situation. The Minister is in Ahmedabad to promote tourism in the island nation. Mr. Fernado said China has made a lot of investment in Sri Lanka and has been “understanding its requirements in the past.” Indian authorities have expressed worries about the ship’s snooping capability.

Want permanent peace with India: Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif

“Pakistan resolves to maintain peace in the region and that sustainable peace in the region was linked to the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the UN resolutions,” Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said. “We want permanent peace with India through dialogue as war is not an option for either of the countries,” he added. Speaking to a delegation of students from Harvard University, Mr. Sharif also said that sustainable peace in the region was linked to the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the United Nations resolutions.

Scotland museum signs deal to return seven ancient artefacts to India

The seven antiquities to now find their way back to India include a ceremonial Indo-Persian talwar or sword, believed to date back to the 14th century and an 11th century carved stone door jamb taken from a temple in Kanpur. Most of the objects were removed from temples and shrines in various states in northern India during the 19th century, while one was purchased following a theft from the owner. All seven artefacts were gifted to Glasgow’s collections, according to Glasgow Life,  a charitable organisation which runs the city’s museums.

U.S. buying big Ukraine grain shipment for hungry regions: U.N.

The United States is stepping up to buy about 1,50,000 metric tons of grain from Ukraine in the next few weeks for an upcoming shipment of food aid from ports no longer blockaded by war, the World Food Program chief said . The final destinations for the grain are not confirmed and discussions continue, David Beasley said. But the planned shipment, one of several the U.N. agency that fights hunger is pursuing, is more than six times the amount of grain that the first WFP-arranged ship from Ukraine is now carrying toward people in the Horn of Africa at risk of starvation.

FTX Crypto Cup: Praggnanandhaa’s winning streak ends with loss to Liem Le

Indian Grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa’s winning run came to an end at the hands of China’s Quang Liem Le in the fifth round of the FTX Crypto Cup, the American finale of Champions Chess Tour in Miami. Liem Le scored an emphatic 2.5-0.5 win over the teenage Indian GM, securing victories in games two and three after the opener ended in a draw.

Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi out of Asia Cup, England T20Is

The injury to the 22-year-old is a major blow to Pakistan’s chances in the six-nation Asia Cup starting in the United Arab Emirates from August 27. Shaheen’s injury has already forced him to miss the second Test in Sri Lanka last month. The left-armer has accompanied the team to the Netherlands for a three-match one-day international series and was in rehabilitation before doctors advised him to rest for four to six weeks.

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