Daily Bulletin: Farmers protest in Mumbai; political turmoil continues in J&K; IMD predicts 'heavy rain' in Chennai; day's top stories
Today's top stories: Farmers' agitation to continue in Mumbai today; Ram Nath Kovind to receive military honours in Australia; Schools, colleges in Chennai to stay shut today amid heavy rain prediction; and more.
Farmers' agitation to continue in Mumbai today
Residents of south Mumbai have been asked to accommodate the ongoing Maharashtra farmers' march, where over 20,000 farmers and tribals across Maharashtra are marching from Thane to Azad Maidan. Their protest is related to their demand for compensation for the drought in the region, a complete waiver on farm loans and transfer of forest rights to the tribal community.
The Mumbai police have asked commuters travelling using the JJ, Lalbagh and Parel flyovers towards Dadar to avoid and use slip (service) roads until 10 am. However, it has predicted regular traffic movement on Dr BA Road towards CST and on these flyovers.
The police have also forecast that traffic in the vicinity of Azad Maidan will be marginally affected around 9 or 10 am on Thursday.
Ram Nath Kovind to receive military honours in Australia
Australian prime minister Scott John Morrison on Thursday morning called on President Ramnath Kovind in Sydney before the latter is given official military honours at Admiralty House by Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove.
On the second day of the four-day visit to Australia, Kovind is scheduled to meet several dignitaries including Cosgrove, Councilor Andrew Wilson and the Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Financial Review, Michael Stutchbury.
President Kovind will also attend a community event and later unveil the statue of Mahatma Gandhi which will be attended by Australian prime minister Morrison.
He is also scheduled to participate in the Australian Financial Review Business Summit before attending the Australia-India business council meet.
Satya Pal Malik dissolves J&K Assembly, cites 'horse-trading', lack of faith in united govt
Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik dissolved the state Assembly with immediate effect considering four main aspects, including "extensive horse-trading" and the "impossibility" of forming a stable government by coming together of political parties with "opposing political ideologies", the Raj Bhavan said in a statement Wednesday night.
In addition, the Raj Bhavan's statement also said that there were "serious doubts about the longevity of any such arrangement where there are competing claims of the majority".
It added, "The fragile security scenario in the state of Jammu and Kashmir where there is a need to have a stable and supportive environment for security forces which are engaged in extensive anti-militancy operations and are gradually gaining control over the security situation.... The Governor came to the conclusion that, in this background, he has satisfied himself that the best course of action is to dissolve the Assembly so as to provide stability and security to the state and hold elections at an appropriate time so that a government with a clear mandate is duly formed," it said.
Women's World Boxing Championships
Already assured of a record seventh medal at the Women's World Boxing Championships, celebrated boxer MC Mary Kom would look to go one step closer towards her sixth gold when she takes the ring in the 48 kg semifinals on Thursday.
Out of the four Indian semifinalists, five-time champion Mary Kom (48 kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg) will take the ring on Thursday while Sonia Chahal (57 kg) and Simranjit Kaur (64 kg) will have their semifinal bouts on Friday.
Schools, colleges in Chennai to remain shut today amid heavy rain forecast
Chennai collector Shanmugha Sundaram has declared a holiday for all schools and colleges in the district on Thursday following predictions of incessant rainfall in the region.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that heavy to very heavy rainfall will hit Chennai on Thursday. It also predicted heavy to very heavy rain over isolated places over Puducherry, south Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, south Rayalaseema and also the southern parts of South Interior Karnataka.
Trump rows with US Supreme Court Chief Justice over bias
US president Donald Trump has entered an extraordinary row with the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, claiming "shocking" bias against his policies in parts of the judiciary. Trump on Wednesday singled out the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, whose jurisdiction includes left-leaning California, tweeting that its rulings "are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise".
However, Chief Justice John Roberts, who rarely makes political statements, rebuked criticism of the courts by Trump, insisting that the judiciary is "independent."
Responding to complaints by Trump that judges appointed by Democratic presidents act against the current White House, Roberts said, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges."
"What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them," Roberts said.
Trump fired back on Twitter: "Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have 'Obama judges,' and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country."
Kerala HC slams state police for excesses on Lord Ayyappa devotees
The Sabarimala issue is likely to continue making headlines on Thursday, after the Kerala High Court on Wednesday slammed the police for its alleged excesses on devotees going to Sabarimala and sought all records relating to prohibitory orders clamped in the temple complex and nearby areas.
Criticising the Inspector General of Police in-charge of Sabarimala and Superintendent of Police for the alleged action against pilgrims at Sabarimala and Nilackal recently, the court asked whether these officials were having any criminal antecedents. The court also observed that experienced officials should be put in charge.
A division bench comprising justices PR Ramachandra Menon and N Anil Kumar directed the Pathanamthitta district magistrate to produce all files and records which led to the declaration of Section 144 banning assembly of four or more people in Sabarimala 'Sannidhanam' and surrounding areas. Considering a batch of petitions on Sabarimala, the court sought to know whether the prohibitory orders were issued in good faith and whether the fundamental rights of the genuine devotees were violated. It also directed police not to obstruct Ayyappa devotees chanting Ayyappa mantra at Sannidhanam.
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