SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
MARCH 31, 2
WHY SHE LEFT
MCI (P) 079/10/2022
GIRLS IN SCHOOL
REPORT ON PAGE 5
(From left) Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and
Scotland’s new First Minister Humza Yousaf.
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Air traffic controllers suspended
after Air India near-collision
Nepal has suspended three air traffic
controllers and launched an
investigation after two passenger
planes nearly collided mid-air last
An Air India plane, which was on
hold at an altitude of 5,800 metres due
to high traffic at Kathmandu airport,
suddenly descended and narrowly
missed colliding with the Nepal
Airlines aircraft flying at 4,572m.
The Civil Aviation Authority of
Nepal has formed an committee to
look into the incident.
Flights diverted from Delhi due to
unexpected weather conditions
Nine flights were on Wednesday
diverted from Delhi airport to Jaipur
airport due to unexpected weather
Light rain, coupled with a
thunderstorm, lashed the national
capital in the evening under the
influence of western disturbance
affecting north-west India, met officials
said. Winds gusting up to 40km
barrelled through the city.
Twitter blocks Pakistan
government’s account in India
Twitter has blocked the Pakistan
government’s account from being
viewed in India in response to a legal
demand, according to a notice on the
social media platform on Thursday.
The company’s guidelines compel it
to withhold entire accounts in
response to a valid legal demand, such
as a court order.
Paytm wins extension for payment
aggregator licence application
Indian financial technology company
Paytm Payments Services has received
an extension from the country’s
banking regulator to apply for a
payment aggregator licence and aims
to reapply in about 15 days, the
company said on Sunday.
Paytm, in the meantime, can
continue with the online payment
aggregation business for its existing
partners, without taking on any new
merchants, the company said in a
notification to stock exchanges on
In November, India’s banking
regulator had declined a payment
aggregator licence for the One 97
Communications unit that owns the
popular Paytm brand.
Google scores partial victory in
Android antitrust case
An Indian tribunal on Wednesday gave
partial relief to Alphabet’s Google
(GOOGL.O) by setting aside four of
10 antitrust directives in a case related
to the dominant market position of its
Android operating system.
The Competition Commission of
India (CCI) in October said Google
had exploited its dominant position in
Android and told it to remove
restrictions imposed on device makers,
including related to the pre-installation
of apps. It also fined Google US$161
million ($214 million).
An Indian appeals tribunal on
Wednesday said CCI’s findings of
Google’s anti-competitive conduct
were correct and the company was
also liable to pay the fine, but it
quashed four of the 10 antitrust
remedies that had been imposed on
Google to change its business model.
Lalit Modi threatens to sue Rahul
Gandhi in UK
Lalit Modi, the former chief of
cricket’s Indian Premier League (IPL),
has announced that he will sue Rahul
Gandhi, the former leader of the
Congress party, in a UK court over his
remarks that linked him to corruption
and money laundering.
Mr Modi, who has been living in
London since 2010 after facing
allegations of financial irregularities in
the IPL, took to Twitter on Thursday
to lash out at Gandhi, questioning his
basis for calling him a “fugitive of
justice” and said that he has never
been convicted of any crime.
He challenged Gandhi to prove the
allegations and said that he “looked
forward to seeing him make a
complete fool of himself”.
Muzaffarpur jail officials release
An assistant jail superintendent at the
Shahid Khudiram Bose jail in Bihar’s
Muzaffarpur was suspended on
Monday after a wrong prisoner was
released last November.
A Muzaffarpur court had ordered
the release of Guddu Kumar, son of
Ramdev Sahani of Shankar Patti
village. But the jail authorities released
another Guddu Kumar, son of
Dhaneshwar Rai and a resident of
Mr Ramdev and his family members
wrote several letters to the jail
authorities about the mistake. But no
action was taken until last Sunday,
when the released Guddu Kumar was
picked up and sent back to jail.
World’s highest railway bridge
over Chenab river to open soon
Taller than Paris’ Eiffel Tower, the
highest single-arch railway bridge in
the world, located between Bakkal and
Kauri in the Reasi district of Jammu
and Kashmir, will soon become
Built at a height of 359m, the
bridge has reportedly cleared all the
necessary tests – including
high-velocity winds test, extreme
temperatures test, earthquake-prone
test and hydrological impacts due to
rise in water level.
The bridge is part of the
Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link
project that aims to boost connectivity
in Jammu and Kashmir by providing
connectivity in complex topography
and weather conditions.
Kerala student refuses to write
biography on Messi
The football craze among the people in
Kerala’s Malappuram district has now
spilt over to the answer sheets of some
Asked to prepare a biography of the
legendary Argentinian player Lionel
Messi from list of questions in the class
four Malayalam annual exam, a girl
student of the Sastha ALP School in
Tirur wrote in the answer sheet: “I
won’t write. I am a Brazil fan. I like
Neymar. I don’t like Messi.”
A student of the AUP School in
Nilambur mentioned in the answer
sheet that he was a Neymar fan even
as he wrote Messi’s biography.
Some teachers who came across
these answers took photos and shared
them on social media, drawing
criticism. Kerala Education Minister V.
Sivankutty has ordered an enquiry.
Steve Smith to debut as
commentator at IPL
Australia’s Steve Smith will debut as a
commentator at the upcoming Indian
Premier League, the cricket
tournament’s broadcaster said on
It ended the mystery about his
return to the event.
The 16th edition of the cash-rich
Twenty20 extravaganza begins today
in Ahmedabad, with 10 teams and a
host of global stars in attendance for
the eight-week tournament.
“Steve Smith has joined the expert
panel for the marquee tournament.
Smith will be making his broadcast
debut with Star Sports, adding his
invaluable insights and expertise to
Star Sports’ already impressive roster
of panellists,” the broadcaster said.
The annual 11-day Karaga festival,
which has symbolised
Hindu-Muslim unity for more than
300 years, started in Bengaluru on
It is traditionally celebrated by
the Tamil-speaking Thigalars
community at the Dharmaraya
Swamy Temple by carrying a floral
earthen pot (karaga) in a procession
to the tomb of an 18th-century
Muslim saint in Cottonpet.
According to popular belief, Saint
Hazrat Tawakkal Mastan sought the
blessings of the Karaga procession
some 300 years ago. He was
supposedly suffering from physical
ailments and the Karaga cured him.
This year, the Karaga will be held
on April 6. Throngs of devotees are
expected to join the night-long
procession, which will pass through
The festival lavishly showcases
Karnataka’s religious traditions and
Karaga festival an age-old ritual symbolising Hindu-Muslim unity
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Radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh,
who has managed to evade a massive
manhunt by the police for 12 days, on
Wednesday released a video, confirm-
ing that he remains at large.
The video was sourced through a
foreign country, reported NDTV. It
emerged as sources in the police
claimed Amritpal had returned to Pun-
jab and planned to surrender.
The self-styled preacher, who sup-
ports a call for a separate homeland
for Sikhs and is wanted for an armed
raid on a police station last month, was
said to be travelling to Amritsar
through the villages of Hoshiarpur
when the Punjab Police was tipped off
about his presence in the area, sources
On Tuesday night, the police
launched a massive door-to-door
search operation in Hoshiarpur and
neighbouring villages to catch him and
his associates, who are accused in
several criminal cases.
But Amritpal appeared to have
escaped, ditching an Innova car at a
gurdwara in the Maraiyan village of
Hoshiarpur and fleeing into the fields.
The police later recovered the car.
A cordon-and-search operation was
launched in and around the village,
while checkposts and barricades were
raised on the roads.
Sources said Amritpal was planning
to give an interview to an international
news agency before surrendering, but
changed his mind after realising that
he had no chance of escaping.
Punjab Police have been under im-
mense pressure to arrest him and his
supporters after they revived memo-
ries of the 1980s Punjab insurgency, in
which thousands died.
Amritpal went missing following a
police crackdown against him and
members of his pro-Khalistan Waris
Punjab De outfit on March 18, about
three weeks after he and his support-
ers stormed the Ajnala police station
near Amritsar to secure the release of
an arrested man.
The preacher escaped the police
dragnet in Jalandhar district, switching
vehicles and changing appearances.
Punjab Police claimed to have taken
into custody 360 people tied to the
group but Amritpal has been giving
them the slip.
The latest video followed a 24-hour
ultimatum set on Monday by the Akal
Takht jathedar, the head of Sikhs
worldwide, to the Punjab government
to set free all arrested supporters of
The government responded on
Wednesday that 348 of the 360 people
picked up during the police action
were released, assuring that the remain-
ing dozen would be out soon.
On Tuesday, a video of Amritpal
with his key aide Papalpreet Singh
surfaced on social media, showing the
preacher without a turban and wearing
The undated closed-circuit televi-
sion footage, said to be from a market
in Delhi, showed the fugitive wearing
dark glasses and walking down a
street. Papalpreet could be seen trail-
ing behind, carrying a bag.
The Punjab Police have not com-
mented on the footage.
A senior Delhi Police official said
they are investigating whether the
persons seen in the video are indeed
Amritpal and his aide.
Indo-Asian News Service
India on Wednesday announced the
birth of four cubs to one of the
cheetahs that were relocated from
Namibia, decades after they were de-
clared extinct in the country.
Environment Minister Bhupender
Yadav tweeted a photo and video of
the cubs, calling it a “momentous
“I congratulate the entire team of
Project Cheetah for its relentless ef-
forts in bringing cheetahs back to India
and correcting an ecological wrong
done in the past,” he said.
“Wonderful news,” tweeted Prime
Minister Narendra Modi.
Eight Namibian cheetahs arrived in
India last year as part of an ambitious
project to reintroduce the big cats, the
world’s fastest land animal.
The four cubs were born in Kuno
National Park wildlife sanctuary to one
of the females that came from Namibia
The cubs are believed to have been
born five days ago. They were spotted
by officials on Wednesday, the Press
Trust of India reported.
A park official told the news agency
that the mother Siyaya, cubs and
father Freddy were fine and healthy.
A video of the four cheetah cubs
was shared by Madhya Pradesh’s forest
department. In the video, the cubs are
seen nestling cosily together in a patch
of dry grass.
A second cheetah from Namibia is
also due to deliver soon, according to
Indian media reports.
Last month, 12 more cheetahs were
brought to India from South Africa.
The announcement of the new cubs
comes just days after one of the eight
Namibian cheetahs died at the Kuno
National Park due to kidney failure.
Kuno National Park is a wildlife
sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
Sasha mated last December but the
four-year-old female cheetah was not
keeping well since its arrival more than
six months ago, Principal Chief Conser-
vator of Forests J.S. Chauhan said.
Wildlife biologists believe kidney
failure occurs in cheetahs that have
been held captive for long.
India was once home to the Asiatic
cheetah but it was declared extinct
there in 1952. The critically-endan-
gered subspecies, which once roamed
the Middle East, Central Asia and
India, are now found in very small
numbers in Iran.
Cheetahs became extinct in India
primarily because of habitat loss and
hunting for their distinctive spotted
Indian prince Ramanuj Pratap Singh
Deo is widely believed to have killed
the last three recorded cheetahs in
India in the late 1940s.
The last cheetah reportedly died in
Koriya district of present-day Chhattis-
garh in 1947 and the species was
declared extinct in 1952.
The cheetah is listed globally as
“vulnerable” on the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature
Red List of Threatened Species.
The vast majority of the 7,000
cheetahs in the world are now found in
Africa – South Africa, Namibia and
AFP, Indo-Asian News Service
Punjab Police releases photos of Waris Punjab De chief Amritpal Singh.
Amritpal posts video while on the run from cops
Cheetah birth ends 70-year extinction
Siyaya gave birth to four cubs at Kuno National Park.
March 31, 2023
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