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Daily Briefing: Uttarakhand flood brings death, damage; International conspiracy to defame India, PM alleges in Bengal, Assam

Havoc caused by Uttarakhand glacier burst; US congress on farm bills, internet bans; PM Modi in poll bound states of Bengal, Assam, take a look at the top news of the day.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 8, 2021 9:05:39 am
Top news today, today's top news, daily briefing, Top news this morning, Tarun Gogoi, coron avirus vaccine, PM Modi, RBI< Jaummu and kashmir, Love jihad, Indian expressFebruary 8, 2021: A look at the top news today.

The Big Story

A glacial break reported in the Tapovan-Reni area of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand has likely led to massive flooding in Rishiganga river on Sunday, damaging houses and the nearby Rishiganga hydro project. Close to 150 people were reported missing with seven bodies recovered by rescue teams, and over 35 people were trapped in a tunnel blocked by debris at an NTPC project.  

Only in the Express 

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which guards the Sino-Indian border, was the first to respond after flash floods hit Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.  ITBP DG S S Deswal speaks to The Indian Express on the situation and the challenges of the rescue operation. 

In this edition of the Idea Exchange, former vice president Mohammad Hamid Ansari reflects on his interactions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, proposes de-escalation of conflict between India and Pakistan though “soft power”, believes India must move from tolerance to acceptance of minorities, and talks about his love for cricket. 

Pavana Nagaraj, a 15-year-old high jumper, has seen her parents, both former national-level athletes, break records at top track-and-field meets around the country. Last weekend, she continued the family tradition, rewriting the under-16 national high jump record at the junior nationals in Guwahati. 

From the Front Page

In two speeches in election-bound Assam and West Bengal on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged there was an “international conspiracy” to “defame India and spoil its image”, and that these conspirators were targeting tea garden workers and denigrating yoga.

Top US Congress members in the India Caucus, the largest country-specific caucus in the US House of Representatives, have asked the Indian government to ensure that the protesters against the Centre’s farm laws are allowed to demonstrate peacefully with access to the Internet.

In a suspected case of suicide, a 52-year-old farmer protesting at Delhi’s Tikri border was found dead in a park, a few metres from the tent that he shared along with eight others from his home district in Haryana. Police have recovered a purported handwritten suicide note in which he criticised the Government for the delay in addressing the farmers’ demands.

Must Read 

Glacial lake burst or avalanche? scientists will visit Chamoli in Uttarakhand to study what triggered the flash floods on Sunday morning that briefly raised fears of a repeat of the 2013 disaster in the state.

A group of 50 farmers from Karnataka arrived at the Ghazipur border, set up tents, and joined the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and other farm unions to protest against the three farm laws. Meanwhile at Singhu border, the stream of families bringing their children to the protest site for a Sunday outing continues despite intense police fortification. 

ICYMI

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserted that the Centre was not dismantling the PSUs but lending them greater strength through concrete policy framework to bring more capital funds and professionalism.

A Chinese company has won a contract to set up hybrid wind and solar energy projects on 3 Sri Lankan islands off the northern Jaffna peninsula, 45 km from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.

Addressing a huge crowd at a ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ in Haryana, BKU leader Rakesh Tikait said, “We will not return to our homes till the Centre’s farm laws aren’t repealed.”

Over 2,000 teargas shells were fired by the Delhi Police on January 26, when hundreds of protesters forced their way into the capital and stormed the Red Fort. Around 510 police personnel sustained injuries and are recuperating in the hospital.

And Finally

Mentor to Indian tennis stars such as Vijay Amritraj and Somdev Devvaraman and a legend in his own right, former national coach Akhtar Ali passed away in the early hours of Sunday in Kolkata. He was 81. The news swept across the Indian tennis fraternity as tributes started pouring in.

Delhi confidential: Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari has decided to shun his bulletproof government car in his constituency Nagpur, and only use an EV whenever he is there. 

In this podcast episode, we talk about how people in J&K have reacted to the restoration of 4G mobile internet, why the government decided to do this now, and how internet restrictions impact the economy.

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