Narendra Modi addresses nation from Red Fort on 73rd Independence Day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday delivers his first Independence Day address after the BJP-led NDA government was voted back to power at the Centre in May 2019. While presenting a 10-week report card of the government, the prime minister also drew attention to the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A from Jammu and Kashmir.
Another aspect that might find a mention in the speech is the country’s strong stand against terrorism, the events since the Pulwama attack in February and the actions taken by the government thereafter, which were also frequently talked about in speeches by various BJP leaders, including Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Tight security arrangements are in place for the event. SWAT commandos, NSG snipers and facial recognition software are part of a thick security blanket to secure the Red Fort. Around 500 CCTV cameras have been installed around the venue, where ministers, bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries and common people will gather to hear the prime minister address the nation.
Army, paramilitary forces and 20,000 Delhi Police personnel have also been deployed. In wake of the abrogation of Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, security has been beefed up across New Delhi and neighbouring border areas.
Jammu and Kashmir celebrates first Independence Day after abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A
Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik will hoist the national flag at the main Independence Day function at the Sher-e-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar on Thursday and all arrangements have been made for it, reports quoted government officials as saying. Ahead of the 73rd Independence Day celebrations, which come as the Kashmir Valley grapples with the abrogation of Article 370, which provided it autonomy, the state has "turned into a fortress" with tight security arrangements in place, reports said.
The state has been under a communication clampdown and a curfew situation for the last 10 days, since the government announced the decision to abrogate the Articles 370 and 35A.
In Jammu, Independence Day celebrations will be led by an advisor to the governor, while celebrations will be held at the divisional, district and sub-district levels as well, Jammu and Kashmir principal secretary Rohit Kansal said.
Rajasthan courts acquits all accused in Pehlu Khan lynching case
An Alwar court on Wednesday acquitted all six accused in the lynching of Pehlu Khan two years ago by a mob that set upon him while he was transporting cows. Hours after the verdict, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the state government will appeal against the verdict delivered by the court of an additional district judge.
Apart from the six acquitted by the Alwar court, three others — all under 18 — are still facing a separate inquiry by a juvenile justice board. While acquitting the six men, the court gave them benefit of the doubt, Additional Public Prosecutor Yogendra Khatana was quoted by reports as saying.
A lawyer representing the accused said the witnesses produced by the prosecution failed to identify them. He also claimed that the video that purportedly showed the lynching was not sent to a forensic lab by the prosecution.
Pehlu Khan (55), his two sons and a few others were transporting cows from Jaipur when they were allegedly stopped and thrashed by a mob near Behror in Alwar district on April 1, 2017.
Later, a video clip surfaced on social media purportedly showing a group of men beating them.
Exports up 2.25% in July, trade deficit narrows to four-month low
India's exports growth turned positive in July, spurting 2.25 percent, while trade deficit narrowed to a four-month low of $13.43 billion, government data showed on Wednesday. Exports increased to $ 26.33 billion in July as against USD 25.75 billion in the same month last year. Imports, however, slipped by 10.43 per cent to $39.76 billion.
Decline in overall imports, including oil and gold, led to narrowing of the trade deficit -- the difference between imports and exports. Trade deficit in July 2018 stood at $18.63 billion. The previous low was in March 2019, when this gap was at $10.89 billion.
"As a result of government's proactive trade policies and support, India's merchandise trade deficit is down by 28 percent in July 2019 over July 2018.
Merchandise exports during the same time have grown to reach $26.33 billion," Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said in a tweet.
Gold imports declined 42.2 per cent to $1.71 billion in July. Oil imports fell 22.15 per cent to $9.6 billion, while non-oil slipped by 5.92 percent to $30.16 billion.
Export sectors that showed positive growth in the last month included chemical, iron ore, electronics, marine products and pharmaceuticals.
Updated Date: Aug 15, 2019 08:01:40 IST