Morning Digest | Two more booked for Haridwar hate meet; Health Secretary to brief ECI on COVID-19 situation, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

Two more booked for Haridwar hate meet

The Uttarakhand Police on Sunday added the names of two more persons in the First Information Report (FIR) pertaining to hate speeches at a religious event in Haridwar organised between December 17-19, where calls were made for genocide and violence against Muslims.

Statue of Christ desecrated in Ambala

A life-size statue of Jesus Christ at the British-era Holy Redeemer Church in the cantonment area in Haryana’s Ambala was desecrated and the lighting inside the church premises damaged by two unidentified men in the early hours of December 26. A First Information Report has been lodged on charges of trespass and defiling a place of worship.

Health Secretary to brief ECI on COVID-19 situation on December 27

As the Election Commission of India (ECI) prepares for Assembly polls in five States early next year, its top brass is slated to interact with Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on December 27.

The terms of Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur legislative assemblies are ending on different dates in March next year while the assembly’s term in Uttar Pradesh will end in May. The poll panel is expected to announce election dates next month.

Government, Opposition continue war of words on Parliament session

In an unabated war of words between the government and the Opposition, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi fired another salvo at Congress chief whip in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh, saying that to err is human but to repeatedly “justify” the wrongs is foolish.

Never said farm laws will be brought again, says Narendra Singh Tomar

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday clarified that the Government was not planning to bring back the farm laws that were recently repealed, adding that the Congress was spreading rumours to cover up its own failures.

Mr. Tomar had on Friday said that the Government took a step back on the three farm laws due to some reasons, but would go forward again, leading the Congress to allege that the Centre was planning on bringing back the contentious laws.

India imposes anti-dumping duty on 5 Chinese goods for 5 years

India has imposed anti-dumping duty on five Chinese products, including certain aluminium goods and some chemicals, for five years to guard local manufacturers from cheap imports from the neighbouring country.

Uneasy truce in Uttarakhand BJP

An uneasy truce seems to have been declared in the ongoing intra party travails of the BJP in Uttarakhand, with rebel Minister Harak Singh Rawat, who had dramatically walked out of a Cabinet meeting on Friday evening in Dehradun, declaring his intentions of quitting his post and party, being brought around to reconsider after a shared meal at Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s residence on Saturday.

Sri Lanka to sign Trinco oil tank farm deal with India in a month, says Minister

After a year of visible strain in its ties with Colombo, New Delhi may finally have some reason for cheer. In a month’s time, Sri Lanka will ink the long-dragging deal with India to jointly develop the Trincomalee oil tank farms — a coveted project that has remained controversial for decades.

Amit Shah lied to Parliament on Nagaland killings: Congress

Accusing Union Home Minister Amit Shah of lying to Parliament, the Congress on Sunday, presenting its report on the killing of 14 civilians at Oting village, Mon District of Nagaland, said the incident as recounted by Mr. Shah was vastly different from the truth. The Congress demanded his immediate resignation and setting up an inquiry commission under a judge of the Gauhati High Court.

Madhya Pradesh government decides not to hold panchayat poll

The Madhya Pradesh government on Sunday decided not to conduct the panchayat elections and sent a proposal to this effect to Governor Mangubhai C Patel.

“The Cabinet has decided to postpone the elections as of now. The government has sent the ordinance to the Governor to rescind it. However, further action is the prerogative of the Raj Bhavan followed by the State Election Commission,” Home Minister and spokesperson Narottam Mishra told the media here.

China reports sudden spike in COVID-19 cases ahead of Winter Olympics

China has reported 206 new COVID-19 cases, including 158 domestically transmitted ones, in a sudden spike ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics which will be held in February next year, the country’s health commission said on Sunday.

South African anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu dies aged 90

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and veteran of South Africa’s struggle against white minority rule died on December 26 at the age of 90, the presidency said.

In 1984 Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent opposition to apartheid. A decade later, he witnessed the ends of that regime and he chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to unearth atrocities committed during those dark days.

India in South Africa | Rahul’s unbeaten ton powers India to a strong position on day one

K.L. Rahul was unbeaten on 122, and India was 272 for three at stumps on day one in the first Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Sunday. And under-pressure Ajinkya Rahane was unbeaten on a fluent 40 of cover-drives, cuts and pulls.

For South Africa Lungi Ngidi struck thrice, but the host attack lacked incision.

Vijay Hazare Trophy | Arora’s unbeaten ton powers Himachal to maiden title

Playing in only his eighth List-A match, Shubham Arora announced himself on the big stage with a brilliant unbeaten 136 (131b, 13×4, 1×6) to power Himachal Pradesh to its maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy title, defeating Tamil Nadu by 11 runs in the final at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Sunday.

Chasing 315, Himachal was cruising along at 299 for four in 47.3 overs when bad light stopped play and emerged victorious on the VJD method.

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