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Today’s Top News Headlines and Latest News at 8:30 pm on 22nd September 2022
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Let us begin our top national news: The National Investigation Agency and the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday conducted searches at the Popular Front of India’s offices (PFI) and houses of PFI state and district level leaders across 10 states over alleged involvement in terror activities. They also detained around 100 people linked to the PFI as part of the searches. The searches were termed as the “largest-ever investigation process till date”. At least 10 places across Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka, including the residence of PFI state president Nazeer Pasha, were part of the NIA’s probe, sources said.
In other news: Signalling that he is not contesting the party president post, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said at a press conference in Kerala’s Kochi that whoever becomes the chief should remember that he “represents a set of ideas, a belief system and a vision of India”. Gandhi, however, refused to clarify whether he would contest the party election. Questions on whether he is a candidate or not are, he said, “aimed at distracting attention from the Bharat Jodo Yatra”.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court reserved its order on various petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court order upholding the ban on hijab in educational institutes. Senior Advocate Dushayant Dave, representing Muslim appellants in the Supreme Court, said, “For those who are believers it is essential. For those who are not believers it’s not essential.” The Karnataka High Court had upheld a Karnataka government order on March 15, authorising government colleges in the state to ban the wearing of hijab by Muslim girl students in college campuses.
Some news on foreign affairs: For nearly five decades India looked upon the United States with suspicion and its overall foreign policy assessment of the US was of deep caution, but the country has now overcome the assumptions to forge a different relationship with America, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said. Jaishankar also said he wanted to give out the message that it was in the mutual interest of India and China to find a way to accommodate each other. To a question on whether India can consider allowing dual citizenship, Jaishanker said, “with the challenges, the history of India, the Partition, etc., to move into dual citizenship is not something that can be readily and securely done”.
In Punjab, a political slugfest erupted hours after Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit withdrew his permission to the Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government to convene on Thursday a special session of the Punjab Assembly for a trust vote. The AAP leadership cried foul and called it a “murder of democracy”, with Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal charging that Purohit changed his decision at the behest of the BJP-ruled Centre. As the AAP MLAs took out a march to the Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh in protest against the Governor’s move, the Mann government said it will move the Supreme Court to challenge it. At the centre of the row is “Operation Lotus”, which the AAP camp alleged the BJP has launched to poach its legislators in a bid to topple the six-month-old Mann government.
In some international news: Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally on Thursday by The Associated Press. Widespread outages of Instagram and WhatsApp, which protesters use to share information about the government’s rolling crackdown on dissent, continued. The demonstrations in Iran began as an emotional outpouring over the death of Mahsa Amini, a young woman held by the country’s morality police for allegedly violating its strictly enforced dress code. Her death has sparked sharp condemnation from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.
In other news: Tension prevailed outside Hyderabad’s Gymkhana ground after the police resorted to a mild baton charge to disperse the swelling crowd that had queued up to buy tickets for a T20I match. The incident left seven injured. Owing to lack of clarity over sale of offline tickets, fans had gathered outside Gymkhana ground in large numbers and had barged into the premises even on Wednesday. Police personnel were deployed and the fans had to return empty handed after a few association representatives said Paytm would start selling offline tickets from Thursday. After nearly three years, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium is hosting an international cricket match for the first time and will serve as the venue for the third T20 international match between India and Australia on September 25.
Lastly, in a landmark decision, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has directed various ministries to use gender-neutral terms from the next Parliament session. The decision came in response to a letter written by Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi dated September 8, wherein she has said that it was “concerning to observe institutional gender mainstreaming” by Parliament, which is a “temple of democracy”.
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