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Top news of the day: India orders blocking of BBC’s PM Modi documentary on YouTube, Twitter; hours before wrestlers called off their protest, WFI rejected their allegations, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

January 21, 2023 07:10 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 09:36 am IST

Union Minister of Sports Anurag Thakur, along with protesting wrestlers, addresses a joint press conference regarding complaints against the WFI and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.

Union Minister of Sports Anurag Thakur, along with protesting wrestlers, addresses a joint press conference regarding complaints against the WFI and its chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. | Photo Credit: ANI

I&B Ministry orders blocking of BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’ critical of PM Modi on YouTube, Twitter

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued orders for blocking multiple YouTube videos of the first episode of the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Question” and the over 50 tweets containing their web links. The directions were reportedly issued by I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra on January 20 using the emergency powers under the Information Technology Rules, 2021. Both YouTube and Twitter have complied with the directions, said a source.

Hours before wrestlers called off their protest, WFI rejected their allegations

The Wrestling Federation of India had rejected all the allegations, including that of sexual harassment against its president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, and claimed that the wrestlers’ protest was motivated by a “hidden agenda to dislodge the current management”. Responding to a Sports Ministry notice, the WFI sent its reply on January 20 evening. Few hours later, the wrestlers called off their protest after the government announced that it will form an oversight committee to probe the charges. It also said the WFI chief will step aside till the investigation is over.

At annual police meet, more detention centres and use of biometrics suggested

Creation of a greater number of detention centres and use of biometrics to identify and deport foreigners who overstay are some of the measures that were discussed at the ongoing annual police conference in Delhi chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah. The police officials also sought clarity on government’s policy when it came to Rohingyas, or refugees recognised by the United Nations as India is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol.

Gang rape survivor made to wait for 12 hours in police van for medical examination in Odisha

A gang rape survivor in Odisha’s Keonjhar district alleged that she had to wait in a police van for 12 hours for her medical examination. The incident took place in Anandapur sub-division of the district after a case of gang rape was registered at the Soso police station on 19 January. The 37-year-old woman was taken in a police van to Anandapur sub-divisional hospital on 19 January morning where doctors refused to undertake her medical examination as the place of occurrence of the crime was under Salania Community Health Centre area.

Seven civilians injured in twin Jammu blasts; L-G for urgent steps to identify, action against attackers

Seven civilians were injured in coordinated twin blasts, which went off within a short interval of 20 minutes, in Jammu’s Narwal on January 21. The incident has posed a security challenge ahead of the Republic Day and Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ rally in Jammu next week. The first explosion took place inside a parked vehicle in Narwal’s Transport Yard area around 11 a.m. followed by the second blast metres away in another vehicle. The condition of the seven injured in these blasts was stated to be stable, officials said.

Urination incident | Air India pilots’ body mulls legal course against suspension of pilot

Air India pilots’ body IPG is considering legal recourse and other options, regarding aviation regulator DGCA suspending the licence of the pilot-in-command of the flight where a passenger allegedly urinated on a female co-passenger onboard last November. A senior member of the Indian Pilots Guild, which represents the airline’s pilots who fly wide-body planes, said it will take up the issue of suspension of the pilot concerned strongly.

Dera Sacha Sauda chief walks out of Rohtak jail after being granted 40-day parole

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh walked out of the Sunaria jail in Haryana’s Rohtak on January 21 after he was granted a 40-day parole. Singh came out of the prison in the afternoon, a police official from Rohtak said. He will be going to the Dera Sacha Sauda Ashram at Barnawa in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, another official said.

Moscow-Goa flight diverted to Uzbekistan after bomb threat email

A Goa-bound chartered flight from Moscow with 240 passengers on board was diverted to Uzbekistan in the wee hours of January 21 after the authorities at the Dabolim airport in the State received an email, which claimed that there was a bomb on the plane, police said. This is the second such incident on the Moscow-Goa route involving the same airline in less than two weeks. The flight, operated by Russian airline Azur Air, was scheduled to land at the Dabolim airport in South Goa at 4.15 am, a senior police official said.

Egyptian president’s visit expected to strengthen time-tested ties: MEA

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is scheduled to visit India from January 24 to 26, during which he will hold wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, grace the Republic Day celebrations and hold an interaction with the business community. The Ministry of External Affairs said Sisi will be accompanied by a high-level delegation that will include five ministers and senior officials. The Ministry also said Sisi will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 25 and President Droupadi Murmu will host a state banquet in his honour the same evening.

Morbi bridge collapse: Hearing on Oreva Group MD’s pre-arrest bail plea adjourned till Feb 1

A sessions court here on January 21 adjourned till February 1 the hearing in the anticipatory bail application filed by Ajanta Manufacturing Limited’s managing director in connection with the collapse of the suspension bridge on October 30 that killed 135 persons. The court of principal district and sessions judge P.C. Joshi deferred the hearing of the anticipatory bail plea moved by Jaysukh Patel to February 1 as the public prosecutor was not present.

Death toll from Tibet avalanche rises to 28

At least 28 people were killed in an avalanche in the city of Nyingchi in the southwestern region of Tibet, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Rescue work at the scene is over, Xinhua said. Local authorities have sent a total of 1,348 people and 236 equipment to help excavate a rescue passage of 7.5 kilometres (4.66 miles), Xinhua said. Fifty-three survivors were found, five of whom were seriously injured, Global Times reported, citing a local government official in the western Chinese region.

Turkey cancels planned visit by Swedish Defence Minister

Turkey on January 21 cancelled a planned visit by Sweden’s Defence Minister in response to the Nordic country’s permits for anti-Turkish protests. It is the latest backlash from Turkey, a NATO member which has been holding off on approving Sweden’s application to join the military alliance until the Swedish government cracks down on groups that Ankara regards as security threats. Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the scheduled January 27 visit by his Swedish counterpart Pål Jonson would not take place. He said the visit no longer held “any importance or point” because Sweden continued to allow “disgusting” demonstrations against Turkey.

German caution on Ukraine arms rooted in political culture

Germany has become one of Ukraine’s leading weapons suppliers in the 11 months since Russia’s invasion, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz also has gained a reputation for hesitating to take each new step — generating impatience among allies. Berlin’s perceived foot-dragging, most recently on the Leopard 2 battle tanks that Kyiv has long sought, is rooted at least partly in a post-World War II political culture of military caution, along with present-day worries about a possible escalation in the war.

Significant lapse in judgment: U.N. apologises for photo of its personnel in front of Taliban flag

The UN has apologised for “a significant lapse in judgement” after photographs surfaced of some of its personnel in front of a Taliban flag in Afghanistan during a visit by deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed this week to the war-torn country when she met the de facto authorities and expressed alarm over women’s rights violations. Ms. Mohammed, the highest-ranking woman in the United Nations, along with Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous and Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Political, Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations Khaled Khiari completed a four-day visit to Afghanistan on Friday.

Hockey World Cup | Hardik-less India seek better show from strikers in must-win match against New Zealand

A below-par show against debutants Wales denying them a direct quarterfinal berth, hosts India would look to address their attacking woes against a plucky New Zealand for a place in the last-eight stage of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup on Sunday. India needed to beat Wales eight places below them in world rankings — by a margin of eight goals to top Pool D and qualify directly for the quarterfinals but the home side could only notch up a 4-2 win on Thursday, as the forwards lacked in finishing. India are now up against New Zealand in the must-win crossover match. The Black Sticks finished third in Pool C with a win and two losses.

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