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Daily Bulletin: Three Indians among 207 killed in Sri Lanka blasts; Narendra Modi to campaign in Rajasthan, Maharashtra; day's top stories

Sri Lanka blasts: Three Indians among 207 dead in Easter Sunday explosions; 13 arrested; ninth bomb defused

Eight separate, but coordinated bombings at churches, luxury hotels and other sites on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka left around 207 people dead and wounded hundreds in island nation's deadliest violence since a devastating civil war in the South Asian island nation ended a decade ago. According to reports, 13 people have been arrested so far in connection to Sunday's blasts. Sri Lanka defense minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists, and police said 13 suspects were arrested, though there was no immediate claim of responsibility. Wijewardena said most of the bombings were believed to have been suicide attacks.

Meanwhile, AFP reported that a ninth bomb, an improvised pipe bomb discovered close to Colombo's main airport, was successfully defused by the Sri Lanka airforce, police said. A police source told AFP that a "homemade" pipe bomb had been found late Sunday on a road leading towards the main terminal, which remains open with heavy security after Easter Sunday's deadly bomb attacks.

 Daily Bulletin: Three Indians among 207 killed in Sri Lanka blasts; Narendra Modi to campaign in Rajasthan, Maharashtra; days top stories

Security forces patrol the site of a bomb blast which occurred in Sri Lanka on Sunday. AP

Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Kishu Gomes said 33 foreign nationals died in the attacks. Director of the National Hospital Dr Anil Jasinghe identified 12 of the 33 foreign nationals, which include three Indians, two Chinese and one each from Poland, Denmark, Japan, Pakistan, America, Morocco, and Bangladesh.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in a series of tweets, identified the three Indians as Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh.  "Indian High Commission in Colombo has conveyed that National Hospital has informed them about the death of three Indian nationals," she said in a tweet. Around 500 people, including Indians, were injured in the attacks.

Narendra Modi to campaign in Maharashtra, Rajasthan; Amit Shah to address a press conference

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on the campaign trail in preparation for the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha election, even as campaigning for the third phase, to be held on Tuesday, ended on Sunday. Modi will address public rallies in Maharashtra's Dindori and Nandurbar and in Rajasthan's Udaipur and Jodhpur.

On Sunday, Modi campaigned in Gujarat's Patan, and in Chittorgarh and Barmer in Rajasthan. BJP president Amit Shah will hold a press conference on Monday and also address four public rallies in West Bengal.

Congress is likely to announce its list of seven candidates for Delhi on Monday, after the Rahul Gandhi-led party declared its candidates for Haryana. Congress fielded party heavyweight and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda from Sonipat and replacing Faridabad candidate Lalit Nagar with Avtar Singh Bhadana.

The party also released its 'security manifesto' on Sunday. The report national security written by a task force headed by retired Lieutenant General DS Hooda noted that the issue was important but it would be "completely wrong" to say that it was dominating the poll narrative.

Arun Jaitley extends support to Ranjan Gogoi after accusations of sexual harassment surfaced against the CJI

Accusing "institutional disrupters" of destabilising the institution of Chief Justice of India (CJI) by lending a shoulder to unverified allegations against the head of the apex court, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday suggested that those who peddle falsehood should be dealt in an exemplary manner.

"It's Time to Stand up With the Judiciary", Jaitley said in his blog, a day after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against CJI Ranjan Gogoi. The Supreme Court even held an extraordinary hearing on Saturday after a former employee of the apex court accused the CJI of sexual harassment and persecution. The former employee has described two incidents of alleged molestation by Gogoi in her affidavit, both of which allegedly took place in October 2018, only days after he was appointed as the CJI.

Jaitley said: "In terms of personal decency, values, ethics and integrity, the present Chief Justice of India is extremely well regarded. Even when critics disagree with his judicial view, his value system has never been questioned. Lending shoulder to completely unverified allegations coming from a disgruntled person with a not-so-glorious track record is aiding the process of destabilisation of the institution of the Chief Justice of India.”

Airfares high after suspension of Jet Airways flights

Airfares on domestic routes, especially those connecting non-metro cities, remain high with the suspension of Jet Airways flights. The average ticket prices have gone up in the range of 10-15 percent across various sectors even as airlines like SpiceJet and IndiGo have mounted additional capacity.

"The average fare level is higher... in the range of 10-15 percent," an Air India executive said. Faced with a severe liquidity crisis, Jet Airways last week suspended its entire operations causing a massive reduction of capacity.

Confident Delhi Capitals play resurgent Rajasthan Royals in 40th match of IPL 2019

Both Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals will enter the 40th match of IPL 2019 — and first between the two sides — on the back of victories in their last encounters. Rajasthan have a tough task at hand against Delhi, who have been touring well in IPL 2019, having won 4 out of their 5 away games.

Sonia Chahal, Lovlina Borgohain aiming to add to India's medal tally at the Asian Elite Boxing Championships

2018 World Championships silver medallist Sonia Chahal (57 kilograms) will continue her medal hunt against North Korea’s Jo Son Hwa when the quarter-final action begins on Monday. Lovlina Borgohain, who secured a bronze from the New Delhi World Championships, will take on Chinese Taipei’s world champion Chen Nien-Chin in a tough last-eight clash. After winning gold at the GeeBee Boxing tournament, Kavinder Singh Bisht (56 kilograms) will aim to lay his hands on yet another medal. Also in action will be Makran Cup gold medallist Deepak (49 kilograms) and veteran Seema Poonia (+81 kilograms).

TikTok ban saga heads into yet another hearing in the Supreme Court today

Viral short video-sharing app, TikTok has been under scrutiny for “encouraging pornography” through its platform. The Madras High Court asked the Centre to ban TikTok in India. While the Supreme Court refused to stay the ban order, Google and Apple were directed to remove TikTok from their platforms. The ban order on TikTok is now due for another hearing later on Monday.

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Updated Date: Apr 22, 2019 07:55:09 IST