Rahul shows up as ‘non-Hindu’ in Somnath visitors’ list; BJP rakes up issue

The BJP tried to make an issue of this faux pas, pouncing on this opportunity to corner the Gandhi scion

Rahul Gandhi Somnath visit

In a major goof-up, the media coordinator of Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday wrote “non-Hindu” against the name of the Congress Vice President in the register of the famed Somnath temple, leading the BJP to pounce on it as evidence that Gandhi is “not a Hindu”.

Rahul Gandhi’s media coordinator Manoj Tyagi later clarified that he had entered the Congress leader’s name in the register as a means to take along his entire delegation inside that included security personnel and media persons.

The Congress Vice President, who arrived on Wednesday on a two-day visit to the poll-bound state of Gujarat, was to pay a visit to the temple for prayers before beginning his election campaign in Saurashtra region. | Today’s Paper

Ahead of the visit, Manoj Tyagi made an entry in the register for Ahmed Patel, a non-Hindu, who was to accompany the Congress Vice President inside the temple and also wrote the name of Rahul Gandhi in the register.

The BJP tried to make an issue of this faux pas, pouncing on this opportunity to corner the Gandhi scion.

The saffron party is worried about the soft Hindutva line that Rahul Gandhi has been following in his several visits to the state, which are being seen as a successful tactic in the election-bound state.

The BJP stated that, “The Congress has always tried to project Rahul Gandhi as a Hindu. But the fact is that he is not. Rahul has visited over 20 temples of multiple Hindu deities since October. The Congress has been lying. The entry shows that he is not an Hindu,” said Raju Dhruv, BJP spokesperson in Saurashtra region.

Manoj Tyagi on his part later issued a statement that he had just entered Gandhi’s name in the register in order to take media personnel inside the temple and not of Rahul Gandhi or Ahmed Patel. “These would have been added later,” he said in the statement.

Somnath temple, located on the shores of the Arabian sea on the southernmost part of Gujarat, is revered by Hindus and enshrines the first of 12 ‘jyotirlings’ of Lord Shiva. Through a notice in June 2015 the Shree Somnath Trust (SST) – the institution managing the temple — had made it mandatory for non-Hindus to seek permission of the Trust before entering the main temple.

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel is incumbent chairman of the Trust, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP National president Amit Shah and retired Chief Secretary of Gujarat, P.K. Laheri, are its trustees.

Rahul signed only visitors’ book: Somnath temple trust official

Seeking to clear the controversy, the Somnath temple authorities on Wednesday said that Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi did not sign the register maintained for non-Hindus during his visit to the temple.

Hours after the controversy erupted over the visit, the temple trust’s Secretary PK Laheri said that Gandhi only put his signature in the visitors’ book and nowhere else.

“‘This is an inspiring place’ – is what Rahul Gandhi wrote and he did so in the presence of our general manager Vijaysinh Chawda,” Laheri told the media.

“This is the only place where he signed,” he added.

On reports about entry as a non-Hindu, Laheri said: “Such a separate register is being maintained for the last three years for security purposes.

“But Rahulji did not sign it, maybe his media coordinator did. I am not sure. There was nobody there. This non-Hindu register generally remains with the security guard,” he added.

IS threat to blow up Mumbai Air cargo complex puts airport on high alert

The cargo terminal area has been evacuated and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad is at the spot

Threat to blow up Mumbai's Air Cargo Complex - two months in advance

Security officials went on high alert after a note was found warning of an ISIS attack on Mumbai Airport’s Air Cargo Complex (ACC) on Republic Day (January 26), or “anytime”, official sources said here on Wednesday.

The note was discovered in one of the toilets of the sprawling and bustling ACC building, located around 3.5 km away from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on the Sahar Road sometime on Wednesday afternoon. | Today’s Paper 

It read “attack the cargo on 26.01.18 or anytime – ISIS”.

Immediately the Central Industrial Security Force, Mumbai police and bomb squads got into action and started evacuating the entire cargo section, and launched a search. It was also decided that people will now be allowed inside only after thorough screening, said officials.

The cargo terminal area has been evacuated and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) is at the spot, an airport spokesperson said.

Though the threat note has been received two months in advance, the airport security agencies are not taking any chances.
The note looks like a hoax, sources said, adding anti- sabotage checks were being conducted in the cargo area.

“While the cargo area is not secured by the CISF, passenger checks and vigil has been enhanced in the main airport terminal area,” a senior CISF officer said.

In late January 2016, a telephonic threat was received warning that the CSMIA would be blown up within a fortnight, by February 2016.

Though the security agencies concluded it was a “non-specific threat”, all teams were on high alert to ward off any untoward incident.

Is your phone safe? Google detects Tizi app that steals FB, WhatsApp data

The company has removed the app from Play Store, notified all known affected devices and suspended the account of the app developer


Today’s PaperGoogle has detected an app ‘Tizi’, which has been stealing information from call records and also from social media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and also take pictures from mobile phones without even displaying them on the screen of the device.

Tizi App is a fully featured backdoor that installs spyware to steal sensitive data from popular social media applications. The Google Play Protect security team discovered this family in September 2017 when device scans found an app with rooting capabilities that exploited old vulnerabilities,” a post on Google security blog said.

The company has removed the app from Play Store, notified all known affected devices and suspended the account of the app developer, the post dated November 27 said.

The post said that earlier variant of Tizi did not have rooting capabilities but it developed later on and thereafter started stealing sensitive information from devices.

“The rooting capabilities give an app full control of the device. It can bypass all restriction posted on it by the Android security system. An app with rooting is like a user using the device. Presence of such app on Google Play Store raises concerns about secure apps on the app store,” cybersecurity expert Jiten Jain said.

The post said that after gaining rooting capability, Tizi steals sensitive data “from popular social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, LinkedIn, and Telegram.”

The backdoor capability of Tizi was common to commercial spyware, such as recording calls from WhatsApp, Viber, and Skype, sending and receiving SMS messages, and accessing calendar events, call log, contacts, photos, Wi-Fi encryption keys, and a list of all installed apps

“Tizi apps can also record ambient audio and take pictures without displaying the image on the device’s screen,” the post said.

The post said that in and after April 2016 vulnerabilities in devices which could have been affected by Tizi were fixed with new software codes.

“If a Tizi app is unable to take control of a device because the vulnerabilities it tries to use are all patched, it will still attempt to perform some actions through the high level of permissions it asks the user to grant to it, mainly around reading and sending SMS messages and monitoring, redirecting, and preventing outgoing phone calls,” the post said.


I am LeT’s biggest supporter; Hafeez Saeed likes me too: Pervez Musharraf

The former president added he was always in favour of terrorist action in Kashmir

Ajmal Kasab, Pervez Musharraf, Kulbhushan Jadhav

Today’s PaperFormer Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf has come out in support of the terror groups, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), saying they were the biggest force against the Indian Army in Kashmir.

Speaking on Pakistan’s ARY News, Pervez Musharraf said, “I am the biggest supporter of the LeT and I know they like me and the JuD also likes me.”

He further said he liked the global terrorist, JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, and had met him.

The former president added he was always in favour of terrorist action in Kashmir, and the LeT and the JuD were the biggest forces to take on the Indian Army in the state.

“I was always in favour of action in Kashmir and of suppressing the Indian Army in Kashmir and they [LeT] are the biggest force,” Musharraf said.

He also accused India of declaring the LeT and the JuD as terror groups with the help of the United States.

“India got them declared as terrorists by partnering with the US,” Musharraf said, adding,” Yes, they [LeT] are involved in Kashmir and in Kashmir it is, between, we [Pakistan] and India.”

Earlier this week, the US strongly condemned the release of LeT leader Hafiz Saeed from house arrest and called for his immediate re-arrest and prosecution.

The White House in a statement, said, “The United States strongly condemns the release of LeT leader Hafiz Saeed from house arrest in Pakistan and calls for his immediate re-arrest and prosecution.”

“A clear international consensus exists regarding Saeed’s culpability-he was designated by the United Nations under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 in December 2008. The Department of the Treasury has designated Saeed as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, and the United States, since 2012, has offered a $10 million reward for information that brings Saeed to justice,” it read.

Saeed, accused of masterminding the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people, was released on November 24 after a Pakistan judicial body ordered his release from house arrest, rejecting a request from the government of Punjab to extend his detention by three months.

The decision to put Saeed under house arrest in January was seen as a response to actions by US President Donald Trump’s White House against nations deemed linked to terrorism.



N Korea fires most powerful missile toward Japan; can handle it, says Trump

The distance travelled appeared to be significantly greater than that of the two previous ICBMs,

Kim Jong Un, North Korea

Today’s PaperNorth Korea on Wednesday fired a ballistic missile that landed into the Sea of Japan, the media reported citing officials.

The missile, believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by the Pentagon based on initial assessments, was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea and flew roughly around 1,000 km before landing in the Sea of Japan, Fox News reported.

The missile flew east for about 53 minutes before landing off the north of Honshu, Japan’s largest island, the New York Times reported.

The missile was fired high into the air, reaching a maximum altitude of over 4,500 km, in an arc similar to the North’s two previous intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, which were launched in July.

The distance travelled appeared to be significantly greater than that of the two previous ICBMs, which flew for 37 minutes on July 4 and for 47 minutes on July 28.

David Wright, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the missile performed better than the two fired in July, with a potential range of more than 12,000 km, able to reach Washington or any other part of the continental US.

“It’s pretty impressive,” Wright said of the test flight. “This is building on what they’ve done before. It’s muscle-flexing to show the US that they’re going to continue to make progress.”

Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said the new launch appeared to be the “most robust” ICBM test yet by the North Korea.

“Early calculations suggest that it could reach the East Coast of the United States,” he said.

“However, that doesn’t take into account the payload mass, which could limit the range.”

Click to read → North Korea Ballistic Missile

Maggi fails lab test again, UP imposes Rs 45 lakh fine on Nestle India

According to authorities, it had collected the samples last year in November and sent them for lab test, which had found ash content above the permissible limits of human consumption

Nestle, which internationally has over 2,000 brands, is betting on its pharma business to reduce dependence on Maggi in India

The district administration of Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, has slapped a fine on Nestle India and its distributors after its popular noodles brand Nestle Maggi allegedly failed to pass the lab test, even as the FMCG major maintained that “it’s a case of application of incorrect standards”.

The district administration had imposed a fine of Rs 45 lakh on Nestle, Rs 15 lakh on its three distributors and Rs 11 lakh on its two sellers. | Today’s Paper 

According to the district authorities, it had collected the samples last year in November and sent them for lab test, which had found ash content above the permissible limits of human consumption.

Questioning the lab findings, Nestle India said it has not received the order yet and would file an appeal urgently once it receive the order.

“While we have not received the orders passed by the adjudication officer, we have been informed that the samples are of year 2015 and the issue pertains to ‘ash content’ in Noodles,” said a Nestle India spokesperson.

He further said: “This appears to be a case of application of incorrect standards, and we will file an appeal urgently once we receive the order.”

In 2015, Nestle India and other companies had represented to the relevant authorities, via industry associations, to set standards specific to instant noodles to avoid confusion amongst enforcement officers and consumers.

“The standards have since been introduced and the product complies with these standards. We regret the confusion it may cause to consumers,” he said, adding that “We strongly reiterate that Maggi Noodles are 100 per cent safe for consumption.”

Maggi was banned by FSSAI in June 2015 for allegedly containing lead beyond permissible limits, forcing Nestle India to withdraw the product from the market. Even in 2015, the Maggi trouble for Nestle had begun in UP.

Following legal battles, the popular noodles brand was back in the market in November 2015.

PM Modi flags off first Hyderabad Metro train from Miyapur, takes a ride

Commercial operations of the Metro project will begin November 29, Hyderabad Metro Rail officials said

PM Modi flags off first Hyderabad Metro train from Miyapur, takes a ride

Today’s Paper : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated first phase of 30-km stretch Hyderabad Metro Rail project, touted as the world’s largest public-private partnership (PPP) in the sector. Commercial operations of the Metro project will begin November 29, Hyderabad Metro Rail officials said.

After inaugurating the first leg of Hyderabad Metro project from the Miyapur metro rail station on Tuesday, PM Modi took a ride in the metro.

The project has overcome many hurdles such as default by the first concessionaire Maytas Infra-led consortium and subsequent developments, crucial land acquisition by the state government and logjam for some time over route alignment, among others.

Here is the timeline of the project.

May 2007: Formation of Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited.

September 2008: Concession Agreement signed between Andhra Pradesh Government (undivided) and Maytas Metro Ltd (MML).

July 2009: Termination of CA with MML and invoking of Bank Guarantee for Rs 60 crore (plus Rs 11 crore).

July 2010: Financial Bids (RFP) opened for the second time.

September 2010: Concession Agreement signed with LTMRHL (L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited).

January 2011: Allotment of 104 acres of land at Uppal.

March 2011: Financial Closure, submission for Escrow, Substitution Agreement, Common Loan Agreement.

March 2012: Handing over of Miyapur Depot land (104 acres) to LTMRHL.

April 2012: Commencement of ground works by the concessionaire.

May 2012: Appointment of Keolis as O&M contractor by LTMRHL.

November 2012: Formal inauguration of Metro Rail works by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (undivided).

May 2013: Final approval of Viability Gap Funding of Rs 1,458 crore by the Centre.

September 2014: Notification of the alignment of three corridors of Hyderabad Metro Rail project under Central Metro Acts by the Centre.

January 2015: Approval of Signalling and Telecom system of HMR project by Railway Board.

Click here to read → Hyderabad Metro Train

Flipkart founders booked for cheating Bengaluru businessman of Rs 10 cr

A first information report (FIR) was filed with the Indiranagar police

Sachin Bansal (left) and Binny Bansal

The Bengaluru police is investigating a case of cheating against Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, along with three other employees after a city-based businessman accused them of withholding payment amounting to Rs 9.96 crore.

Naveen Kumar, owner of a computer shop C-Store in Indiranagar, alleged he had supplied 14,000 laptops to Flipkart, of which, about 12,500 were sold. However, the payment for the remaining laptops was not made. | Today’s Paper

On contacting Flipkart, he alleged the company’s response stated it had returned 4,000 laptops. The resultant loss to his business amounts to Rs 9.96 crore, Kumar stated in his complaint.

A first information report (FIR) was filed with the Indiranagar police, which said it had registered a complaint under three Sections of the Indian Penal Code for common intent, criminal breach of trust and cheating.

Business Standard has reviewed the police complaint. “He supplied 14,000 laptops, of which 1,482 were returned. Flipkart did not pay for the remaining laptops. It also did not pay TDS and shipping charges. When we asked them, Flipkart falsely said it had returned 3,901 laptops and has withheld a sum of Rs 9,96,21,419,” the complaint stated.

Flipkart denied the accusations and said the complaint filed was fales and baseless. “Flipkart strongly denies all the allegations, and averments made in the FIR in entirety. Further, Flipkart is exploring all available legal possibilities to safeguard its interests, including but not limited to initiating proceedings for defamation against the complainant,” the company said in a statement late Monday evening.

The FIR appears to be nothing but an endeavour to harass and pressurise the company to succumb to baseless demands,” Flipkart added.


Only God can save us, say officials as BJP, AAP, Cong spar over Delhi smog

An estimated $600 mn is needed to provide farmers with alternatives, but the BJP of PM Narendra Modi and Opposition parties in power in New Delhi and nearby Punjab are squabbling over who will pay


Today’s Paper : As pollution level climbed to 12 times above the recommended limit this week in India’s capital, government officials said they knew what was needed to control the smoky haze, but nothing would be done, at least this year.

A major source of the smog at this time of year across northern India, including New Delhi, is farmers burning the stubble of the previous crop to prepare for new plantings in November.

An estimated $600 million is needed to provide farmers with alternatives, but the Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and opposition parties in power in New Delhi and nearby Punjab states are squabbling over who will pay, said three federal government officials who have been briefed on the situation.

“Nothing more is likely to happen this year,” said one of them. “We’re now praying. Only God can save us.”

The official said he had bought pollution masks for his family and installed air purifiers at his home in New Delhi, now the most polluted city in the world, according to the Brookings Institute. The city is home to more than 20 million people.

Click Here To Read → Delhi Air Pollution

Padmavati row: Karni Sena wants Bharat Bandh, Bhansali gets security cover

Bhansali has been facing the ire of various groups and self-styled experts on what they term as ‘erroneous’ depiction of Rajput queen Rani Padmavati.


Today’s Paper : The Shri Rajput Karni Sena on Wednesday called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ (shutdown) on December 1 if Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie “Padmavati” releases on that date, while the Maharashtra government provided a precautionary security cover for the filmmaker in view of the increasing controversies and growing threats.

“We will hold rallies across the country, including Gurugram, Patna, Lucknow and Bhopal before the release date,” Lokendra Singh Kalvi, founder-patron of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, an organisation of the Rajput community, told media persons in Jaipur.

He said all communities, including Muslims, supported the Sena on the issue.

“We demand a complete ban on the film. Now, we don’t want any pre-screening of the movie. All we want is a ban,” he said.

He claimed that as per the Cinematography Act, the government can withhold the release of a movie for three months even after a go-ahead by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and it can be extended further.

“We request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter,” Kalvi said.

Bhansali has been facing the ire of various groups and self-styled experts on what they term as ‘erroneous’ depiction of Rajput queen Rani Padmavati.

There have been protests and violence against Bhansali and opposition to the film right from the time it was being shot at various locales in different parts of India and now, as it prepares for release globally soon.

Barring these groups and individuals, the entire film fraternity and civil society members have expressed support to Bhansali for his latest film venture.

The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has thanked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for providing security cover to Bhansali, who lives and works in Mumbai.

Click Here To Read → Padmavati Row