Daily Bulletin: BJP to hold Pulwama condolence meetings; CRPF sets up helpline for Kashmiris; US planes with aid land near Venezuela; day's top stories
CRPF sets up helpline for Kashmir-based people and students facing threats across the country as MHA issues notice: Narendra Modi to visit Bihar and Jharkhand; and more
In the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, students and people of Jammu and Kashmir residing in other parts of the country have reportedly been facing threats
Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy to continue his dharna for the fifth day outside the Raj Nivas against Lt Governor Kiran Bedi
A security researcher has found out that Twitter has been retaining deleted direct messages for years
CRPF sets up helpline for Kashmiris facing threats across the country
In the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, students and people of Jammu and Kashmir residing in other parts of the country have been facing threats, according to reports. The MHA on Saturday issued advisories to the states and union territories to ensure their safety.
The advisory came hours after an all-party meeting, which was convened by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The parties issued a resolution against terrorism.
In the backdrop of reports of threats issued to Kashmiris, a Srinagar-based CRPF helpline on Saturday also asked them to approach it in case they face any harassment. The 'Madadgaar' helpline posted a tweet in this context, stating that Kashmiri students and the general public who are presently out of the state can contact it on the Twitter handle '@CRPFmadadgaar'.
A senior official said the force will undertake immediate steps in case the helpline receives a distress call by a Kashmir-based person and will alert and depute officials from its nearest located base to address the issue.
"While we have lost our comrades, it is our pledge to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially to those living in the Kashmir Valley, that we are with them always," he said.
MK Stalin to meet Narayanaswamy in Puducherry
Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy will continue his dharna for the fifth day outside the Raj Nivas against Lieutenant-Governor Kiran Bedi. DMK chief MK Stalin is likely to meet him at the site of the protest on Sunday.
On the fourth day of his protest on Saturday, Narayanasamy wrote to the Centre, in which he charged Bedi with adopting an "autocratic" style of functioning and said the stir will continue till his demands are met.
Bedi, now camping in New Delhi, has offered to discuss all issues with Narayanasamy and his ministers at an open public forum on 21 February.
India raises customs duty to 200 percent for imports from Pakistan
Taking strong economic action against Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack, India on Saturday raised the customs duty to 200 percent on all goods imported from the neighbouring country, including fresh fruits, cement, petroleum products and mineral ore.
The decision is likely to significantly hit Pakistan's exports to India, which stood at $488.5 million (around Rs 3,482.3 crore) in 2017-18 as it would drastically increase the prices of its goods.
"India has withdrawn MFN (most favoured nation) status to Pakistan after the Pulwama incident. Upon withdrawal, basic customs duty on all goods exported from Pakistan to India has been raised to 200 percent with immediate effect," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a tweet.
BJP to hold protest, condolence meetings at all district headquarters
The Bharatiya Janata Party has called for a countrywide protest on Sunday to condemn the Pulwama terror attack, as well as condolence meetings for the victims at various district headquarters, a senior party leader said.
"According to instructions from the party's national president (Amit Shah), all party workers will on 17 February participate in the event that will be held in a public place and offer their respects to the slain soldiers. Party workers will also resolve to take a pledge for a decisive battle against terrorism. All elected representatives and office-bearers will take part in the programme," a communique issued by the BJP's media cell said.
Prominent intellectuals and other dignitaries should also be present at the function, according to the party's media head Anil Baluni.
Narendra Modi to visit Bihar and Jharkhand today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Bihar on Sunday. He is scheduled to inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various development projects worth Rs 33,000 crore at Barauni in Begusarai district. Modi is also expected to address a public meeting at the Ulao airport premises in Barauni.
He will lay foundation of the ambitious Patna Metro Rail Project, developed at a cost of Rs 13,366 crore. Recently, the Centre had given its nod to the project, which comprises a 31 kilometre-long stretch of elevated, underground and surface rail route, with two corridors and 11 stations.
US military planes land near Venezuela border with aid
The US military airlifted tons of aid to a Colombian town on the Venezuelan border on Saturday as part of an effort meant to undermine socialist President Nicolas Maduro and back his rival to leadership of the South American nation. Two of three scheduled Air Force C-17 cargo planes that took off from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida had landed in Cucuta.
That border city, swollen by a flood of migrants from Venezuela, is a collection point for aid that's supposed to be distributed by supporters of Juan Guaido, the congressional leader who is recognised by the US and many other nations as Venezuela's legitimate president.
Saturday's 180-ton shipment includes high-energy food products or hygiene kids of soap, toothpaste and other goods for more than 25,000 people.
Security researcher says Twitter retains direct messages for years, including deleted messages
A security researcher has found that Twitter has been retaining deleted direct messages for years. Twitter also has been storing data to and from accounts that have been deactivated or suspended.
The researcher said a similar bug had been found a year earlier but had not been disclosed until now.
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Activists in Jammu try to hoist national flag at PDP office, protest Mehbooba Mufti's remarks on Tricolour
Mehbooba Mufti had said she would hold the national flag only when the separate flag of the erstwhile state is restored.
The amalgam leaders, who met at the residence of Mehbooba Mufti for the first time after its formation, adopted the flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir as its symbol
Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act amended; District Development Councils to be set up in each district
A spokesperson said the District Development Councils will comprise members directly elected from 14 territorial constituencies of the district