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Delhi court grants 5-day remand for his interrogation in the INX Media case

No relief: P. Chidambaram leaving the CBI court in New Delhi on Thursday. Sandeep Saxena The Hindu

A Delhi court on Thursday remanded senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to the Central Bureau of Investigation’s custody for five days for interrogation in the INX Media case. He was arrested on Wednesday night.

The CBI sought his custody to unearth the “larger conspiracy”, stating that he had tremendous potential of not cooperating in the probe as he was highly intelligent.

Remanding him in custody till August 26, additional sessions judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar said, “It is impressed upon the investigating agency to ensure that the personal dignity of the accused is not violated in any manner.”

‘Remand justified’

“Considering all the facts and circumstances of the case as brought to the notice of the court, I am of the view that police custody remand of accused P. Chidambaram is justified,” the judge said in a 10-page order.

Despite objections raised by the agency, the court permitted Mr. Chidambaram to make his submission in person. Submitting that he had answered all the CBI questions, he denied having any bank accounts abroad. He, however, said his son Karti had an overseas bank account with the RBI’s approval.

Arguing for the CBI, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the accused was summoned, and he joined the probe on June 6, 2018. He was further interrogated after his arrest. However, he evaded questions and did not respond to the documents shown to him, Mr. Mehta said.

India to receive first Rafale fighter jet next month: Modi

Boost to ties: PM Modi and President Emmanuel Macron before their meeting at Chateau of Chantilly.REUTERSREUTERS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday discussed the government’s move to suspend Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and split the State into two Union Territories.

Briefing the media in Chantilly after one-on-one talks that lasted more than 90 minutes, Mr. Macron said France would support any policy that would give the region “stability”, adding that no one should “provoke violence” there.

‘Sovereign issue’

“Prime Minister Modi explained the decisions to me, and said that this is a sovereign issue for India. France believes that the issue of Kashmir should be resolved between India and Pakistan, and no other party should be involved,” Mr. Macron said.

“We would like to support any policy that keeps the situation stable and free from terror. I will be speaking to the Pakistan PM shortly, and would say to him that this issue must be resolved bilaterally as well,” he added.

Thanking the French government for its support on security and countering “cross-border terror”, Mr. Modi said India and France had finalised several steps to strengthen their strategic partnership.

He also said India was looking forward to the first delivery of the Rafael fighter jets in September. “In the past, India and France have walked together and fought fascism and extremism together,” Mr. Modi said.

Says Pakistan is fighting it ‘very, very little’

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump named India as one of the countries that ought to be fighting the Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan. He also appeared to suggest that Russia, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan were countries that should be fighting the IS in Afghanistan.

“Look, India is right there. They’re not fighting it; we’re fighting it. Pakistan is right next door. They’re fighting it very little — very, very little. It’s not fair,” Mr. Trump said in the White House. He was responding to a question whether he was concerned about the potential re-emergence of the IS in Afghanistan and how that might impact his plans to withdraw troops from that country.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump had said the U.S. would not completely withdraw from Afghanistan but “always have intelligence [in Afghanistan] ” and “always have somebody there”.

Over 100 trained militants positioned by Pak. at LoC, warn intelligence inputs

Intelligence inputs have warned that Pakistan is recruiting Afghan and Pashtun fighters for infiltration into Kashmir, and over 100 of them are positioned at various launchpads along the Line of Control (LoC).

“There have also been specific intelligence inputs that the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad has deployed over a dozen Afghan and Pathan terrorists for Border Action Team attempts, comprising Afghan militants and highly trained Special Services Group (SSG) of the Pakistan Army and for infiltration into the Lipa valley in north Kashmir,” defence sources said. They added that Pakistan is desperately trying to keep the LoC active in an attempt to keep international focus on Kashmir in the aftermath of recent developments there.

The inputs have also warned of attempts by terrorists to carry out attacks in major cities, the sources added.

On the situation in Kashmir, which remains under a security clampdown, officials said relaxing of restrictions had to be calibrated to prevent violence.

Guided by three carpenters, 75 residents reconstructed the structure that was washed away by floods

Brahmanakeppige residents carry out the work in Shivamogga district.Special ArrangementSpecial Arrangement

Many hands make light work, goes the adage. And when a bridge that served as their only link to the outer world got washed away in the monsoon fury earlier this month, the residents of Brahmanakeppige of Shivamogga district in Karnataka did not wait for official help — they came together and built themselves a new bridge.

The hamlet in Tumari panchayat, in the backwaters of the Linganamakki reservoir now has a spanking new wooden bridge, which took less than a day to build.

After the reservoir was constructed across the Sharavathi river near Linganamakki for power generation in 1962, as many as six panchayats in the Shivamogga district, including Tumari, became islands in its backwaters. At present, two barges provided by the Department of Ports and Inland Water Transportation are the only means of transportation for nearly 30,000 residents of these panchayats.

Only link

The president of the Tumari Grama Panchayat, Sathyanarayan G.T., told The Hindu that for 80 families of Brahmanakeppige, the only link to the outer world was a wooden bridge across the Kalkattu rivulet, a tributary of the Sharavathi river.

When the bridge was washed away on August 9, Brahmanakeppige became an island within an island, he said. The elected representatives and officials who visited the spot assured the villagers that another bridge would be constructed.

“But the people here realised that if the bridge work is to be executed by the government, it could take months as the proposal needs clearances at multiple levels. So, it was decided to rebuild it using shramadaan,” said Manjunath, a resident.

Work commenced on August 17 at 7.30 a.m. Using locally available wooden logs and arecanut trees, the citizens completed the construction by 4.30 p.m. The workforce comprised of 75 people, including women. Lokanna, Manju and Lakshman, who are carpenters, supervised the construction.

The Grama Panchayat provided ₹15,000 to meet the expenses. The 100-metre bridge is now open for pedestrians and two-wheelers.

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