AT NCC RALLY, PM MODI COMES DOWN HARD ON PAK, PREVIOUS CONG. GOVTSMaintaining that Pakistan has lost three wars but continues to wage proxywars against India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said thecountry's armed forces will "not take more than a week to 10 days to makePakistan bite the dust".Targeting "inaction" of previous governments, Modi said they treated theproxy war by Pakistan as a law and order problem, but "even when our forcesasked for action they would not go ahead".Addressing the annual PM's NCC rally, Modi said some parties are opposingthe Citizenship (Amendment) Act [CAA] for vote-bank politics, and indicatedthat by opposing the new law, these parties are opposing Dalits and othermarginalised sections, who are persecuted in Pakistan. "Some of these people(political leaders opposing CAA) are pretending to be the voice of thedowntrodden. But they can't see the downtrodden in Pakistan - most of thosewho have come from Pakistan are from such communities."Attacking the Congress, Modi said if that opposition party's leaders readthe "right kind of books" written by "unbiased historians", they would knowthe truth about Partition. "When the country attained Independence, whoseadvice led to its Partition? Whose self-interest was behind it? How didthose who took the reins of the country agree to Partition? If you read theright books - books written by historians without prejudice - you will cometo know the truth," he said.Modi said a lot of misinformation is being spread about CAA but the truth isthat Mahatma Gandhi wanted this. "After Independence, India had promisedHindus, Sikhs and other minorities that if they came to India it wouldshelter them and stand by them. This is what Mahatma Gandhi wanted, and thatwas the spirit of the 1950 Nehru-Liyaqat agreement. It was India's duty toshelter people in these countries who faced religious persecution. Butpeople (an ostensible reference to previous Congress governments) turnedtheir head away from these thousands of (persecuted) people."He maintained that India could have taken over Kartarpur - in Pakistan,where Guru Nanak spent the last years of his life - but did not.".Pakistan's 90,000 soldiers were in our custody. Why were they notexchanged for Kartarpur," Modi asked.IN JOINT RESOLUTION, 5 GROUPS OF EU MPS SLAM CAA, NRCStressing that a process like the NRC exacerbates "climate of xenophobia"while fuelling religious intolerance and discrimination, a joint resolutionby five political groups in the European Parliament said that theCitizenship (Amendment) Act [CAA] is "discriminatory in nature anddangerously divisive" and it appeared to undermine India's commitment toequality before the law.This strongly worded joint resolution has been drafted by five politicalgroups from the Centre-Right to far-Left, and will replace the five separateresolutions by these groups.The sixth resolution, which backs India on CAA, but condemns the use ofexcessive violence, stays.These two resolutions will be debated today in European Parliament, and willbe put to vote on Thursday.Taken together, the five groupings comprise 559 members in the 751-memberEuropean Parliament, while the sixth grouping represents 66 Members ofEuropean Parliament (MEPs).MAKE CHANGES IN NPR FORM, ASKS ALLY NITISHBihar CM Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said his JD(U) would urge the BJPgovernment at the Centre to drop columns pertaining to birthplace of parentsin the National Population Register form since it had led to "apprehensions"among many.Nitish, JD(U)'s national president who has been running a coalitiongovernment in the state with the BJP, said leaders of his party "in the LokSabha and Rajya Sabha" would make a request to the government to this effect"even though it is not mandatory to fill up these columns".He was talking to the media at his official residence here after a meetingof JD (U) parliamentarians, legislators and office-bearers. Disgruntledleaders like national vice-president Prashant Kishor and general secretaryPavan Varma were absent.Nitish acknowledged that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had led to "unrest"across the country but hoped the misgivings would be addressed by theSupreme Court. He voiced disapproval of the inflammatory comments made bySharjeel Imam, pointed out "whoever transgresses law, will face actionaccordingly. Talks of disintegration of the country are never acceptable"In an apparent reference to states coming out with resolutions in respectivelegislatures against the CAA, Nitish, whose party had voted in favour of theBill in Parliament, said the matter came under the jurisdiction of theCentre.CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK: DELHI BEGINS TALKS WITH BEIJING ON EVACUATIONAn Air India jumbo jet has been placed on standby in Mumbai, as thegovernment firmed up arrangements Tuesday to evacuate Indian nationals fromWuhan and other parts of China's Hubei province where a coronavirus outbreakhas led to over 4,500 confirmed cases and 106 deaths.The national carrier has kept a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, with 423 seats,ready for the evacuation. Officials are awaiting the green signal from Chinafor the flight.Officials said the government "has made a formal request to China forfacilitating" the process and that "on evacuation, these individuals will bekept in quarantine for 14 days".Hours after the government announced its evacuation move, China's Ambassadorto India Sun Weidong sought to dispel fears with a tweet linking a reportfrom Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news agency. "The WHO does not recommendthe evacuation of nationals, and called on the international community toremain calm and not overreact. The WHO is confident in China's epidemicprevention and control ability," the tweet said.The government, meanwhile has extended thermal screening to 20 airports fromthe seven listed earlier for passengers arriving from China. "Tillyesterday, 155 flights have been screened (total cumulative passengers33,552)," the government said in a statement. On Tuesday, 2,461 people from15 flights were screened.The Health Ministry, which issued an advisory warning against non-essentialtravel to China, is moving to procure more scanners. The Ministry ofShipping has also initiated screening at all major ports.TRUMP UNVEILS PEACE PLAN, HAMAS REJECTS ITUS President Donald Trump on Tuesday proposed a Palestinian State with itscapital in eastern Jerusalem, dependent on Palestinians taking steps tobecome self-governing, in an effort to achieve a peace breakthrough in theirdecades of conflict with Israel.Senior administration officials, briefing on the plan announced at the WhiteHouse, said under Trump's proposed peace plan the US would recognise Israelisettlements on the occupied West Bank. In exchange, Israel would agree to afour-year freeze on new settlement while Palestinian statehood wasnegotiated."Today, Israel has taken a giant step towards peace," Trump said as heannounced the plan with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at hisside, saying he had sent a letter about it to Palestinian President MahmoudAbbas."This is a historic day," Netanyahu said, comparing Trump's peace plan toformer President Harry Truman's 1948 recognition of the State of Israel. "Onthis day, you became the first world leader to recognise Israel'ssovereignty over areas in Judea and Samaria that are vital to our securityand central to our heritage," he added.Hamas said Trump's statements were "aggressive" and his proposals were"nonsense".DEFYING U.S., U.K. GIVES HUAWEI 5G ROLEPrime Minister Boris Johnson granted Huawei a limited role in Britain's 5Gmobile network on January 28, resisting U.S. pressure to exclude the Chinesecompany from next generation communications over fears Beijing could usethem to spy. Britain had to weigh its "special relationship" with the U.S.against Chinese trade and investment ties which it wants to develop afterleaving the EU.Johnson, in the biggest test of his post-Brexit foreign policy to date,ruled that "high-risk vendors" would be allowed into the "non-sensitive"parts of 5G networks.However, their involvement will be capped at 35%, they will be excluded fromthe sensitive core, where data is processed, and they will be banned fromall critical networks and locations such as nuclear sites and militarybases, the government said.The decision will dismay President Donald Trump's administration which fearsChina could use Huawei to access Western communications. It warned Londonthat giving Huawei a role would risk intelligence cooperation.BJP HOPES TO MAKE THE MOST OF SHAHIN BAGH IN DELHI POLLSBJP MP Parvesh Verma on Tuesday said what happened in Kashmir with KashmiriPandits could happen in Delhi, warning that lakhs of anti-CAA protesters inShaheen Bagh could enter homes to kill and rape women.Verma's controversial statement comes amid his party's sharpened attack onthe anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh with Union Law minister Ravi ShankarPrasad on Monday alleging that it was a "textbook case" of a few hundredpeople "suppressing" the "silent majority".Earlier on Monday, Union minister Anurag Thakur raised controversial slogansinciting violence against 'traitors of India' at an election rally in DelhiRithala area. He chanted the controversial "Desh Ke gaddaron ko..." chant,to which the public replied "goli maaro s**lon ko".The slogan has been used by those backing the Citizenship Amendment Act tocondemn those protesting against the law.An internal poll conducted by BJP says that its fortunes in the Delhiassembly elections are on an upswing, giving them at least 30-35 of the 70seats in the Capital. "It is true that now we are doing very well. Peoplehave reacted to the Shaheen Bagh mentality - Manish Sisodia's statement thathe and his party stand with Shaheen Bagh has helped us," Delhi BJP chief andMP Manoj Tiwari said.DELHI POLICE ARREST JNU STUDENT SHARJEEL IMAM IN SEDITION CASE FROM BIHARAnti-CAA activist Sharjeel Imam, who was on the run after sedition chargeswere slapped against him for allegedly making inflammatory statements, wasarrested from Bihar's Jehanabad district on Tuesday, state's police chiefGupteshwar Pandey said.The JNU scholar was wanted by police of several states, including UttarPradesh, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Delhi.Earlier in the day, a brother of Sharjeel Imam was picked up by police in afresh attempt to trace the anti-CAA activist. Police had raided hisancestral home also on Sunday as it went hunting for him but Imam eluded thedragnet.A graduate in computer science from IIT-Mumbai, Imam was last pursuingresearch at the Centre for Historical Studies at the JNU.He was slapped with a sedition case after a video of his purported speechwent viral on social media where he was heard speaking about "cutting off"Assam and the northeast from the rest of India.COURT IN BIJNORE: NO PROOF OF PROTESTERS FIRING OR BULLET INJURIES TO COPSGranting bail to two persons accused of rioting and attempt to murder duringthe anti-CAA protests last month, a sessions court in Bijnor, one of theworst affected districts in Uttar Pradesh, has torn into police claims,saying they produced no evidence to show that the accused indulged in firingand arson, that weapons were seized from the accused, or that policepersonnel sustained any bullet injury.Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Pandey, in the bail order on January 24,pointed out these glaring discrepancies in the police version. "Withoutmaking any observation on the merits of the case, in my view, looking at thecircumstances and the natures of offences, bail has to be granted to theaccused," he said.The observations made in the bail order are significant. Bijnor policearrested over 100 people and lodged multiple FIRs, claiming they indulged inviolence at Nahtaur, Najibabad and Nagina in Bijnor. Police also admittedthat a 20-year-old, Mohammad Suleman, died after he was shot by a constable,Mohit Kumar, in "self-defence". The family has filed an FIR against sixpolice personnel.GOVT RINGFENCES 'PRUDENT COMMERCIAL DECISIONS' OF TOP PUBLIC SECTOR BANKERSCiting the need to protect prudent commercial decisions of bankers, theFinance Ministry said Tuesday it has "done away with" holding MDs and CEOsof public sector banks personally responsible for compliance in dealing withlarge-value frauds committed by bank officials.In a statement, the Ministry said that it has delegated powers to the boardsof state-owned lenders to put in place a "suitable mechanism" for ensuring"compliance with the various timelines laid down in RBI and CentralVigilance Commission circulars relating to fraud monitoring and reporting".The Finance Ministry said that distinction would be made between "genuinecommercial failures and culpability".The move comes at a time when a number of bank chiefs are facinginvestigative action. These include Usha Ananthasubramanian, former MD & CEOof PNB; Arun Kaul, former UCO Bank CMD; Archana Bhargava, former CMD atUnited Bank of India; Yogesh Agarwal, former Chairman, IDBI Bank; and, R KDubey, former CMD of Canara Bank.The move is aimed at placating fears among public sector bankers, who facethe threat of investigative scrutiny, sometimes even for loans granted afterappropriate appraisal and assessment that turn out to be non-performing. Themove is important given that bankers are going slow on granting credit evenwhen it may make business sense.RAJIV GANDHI ASSASSINATION CASE: CONVICT PLEADS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEA week after the Supreme Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to file areport on the status of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A GPerarivalan's release plea - which has been pending before GovernorBanwarilal Purohit after the state Cabinet recommended the release inSeptember 2018 - Perarivalan on Tuesday wrote to Purohit appealing for anexpedited decision.Currently lodged at the Puzhal central prison near Chennai city, Perarivalanwrote in his letter that he had already served a 29-year incarceration.The letter further cited several reasons for his release, including that hewas 19 when he was arrested, he was the only male child of his parents,there was no record against him of criminal antecedents and that he had anexcellent conduct record throughout his prison term. The plea further citedthat during his time in jail Perarivalan has completed his graduation andpost graduation and that he had been a university topper.Last week's hearing in the SC was over a petition filed by Perarivalanseeking an order to stay his life sentence till the Multi DisciplinaryMonitoring Agency (MDMA) probe into a possible larger conspiracy behind theassassination was completed. The apex court had sought a report from theKUNAL KAMRA HECKLES ARNAB GOSWAMI ON BOARD INDIGO, PUT ON NO-FLY LISTStand-up comedian Kunal Kamra was banned from flying for six months byIndia's largest airline IndiGo for heckling television news anchor ArnabGoswami on the airline's flight from Mumbai to Lucknow. State-owned AirIndia said it has also suspended Kamra from flying on any of its flightsuntil further notice.Other airlines are expected to follow suit after Civil Aviation MinisterHardeep Singh Puri said the government would advise them to impose similarrestrictions on Kamra.Kamra, who was heard mocking Goswami in the IndiGo flight in a video postedby him Tuesday on Twitter, claimed he returned to his seat immediately afterthe air hostess requested him, and caused no disturbance. In a statement,Kamra said he "politely asked" Goswami to have a conversation and later gavethe news anchor "a monologue about what I felt about his journalism". "Themoment the stewardess asked me to move, I went back to my seat in 20seconds. I apologised to each crew member personally and to both the pilots,by staying back till the end, for any inconvenience that I might have causedduring the flight," he said.In 2017, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had issued rules to tackle on-boarddisruptive behaviour by passengers and established the 'no-fly list'.FEDERER SAVES 7 MATCH POINTS TO GET INTO SEMI FINALSwiss great Roger Federer said "I believe in miracles" after he saved sevenmatch points in a five-set nail-biter against 100th-ranked Tennys Sandgrento go into an Australian Open semifinals with Novak Djokovis.The six-time champion, struggling physically, saved three match points at4-5 in the fourth set and four more in the tie-breaker to scrape through 6-32-6 2-6 7-6(10) 6-3.Federer, 38, now goes into an unmissable encounter with Djokovic, whoblunted Milos Raonic's razor serve to win 6-4 6-3 7-6(7) and move two winsfrom an eighth Melbourne title.I believe in miracles. There could be rain, there could be all kinds ofstuff. (I thought) just let him finish me off in style, and he didn't dothat. I'm incredibly lucky tonight, today - I don't even know what time itisDjokovic, despite trouble with his contact lenses, ended Raonic's run of 63straight games in the tournament without a break of serve and moves smoothlyinto the semis for the loss of just one set so far.U19 WORLD CUP: INDIA GRIND AUSSIES TO ENTER SEMISFavourites India reached the semifinals of the Under-19 World Cup when theydefeated Australia by a big margin of 74 runs in the quarterfinals, inPotchefstroom, South Africa. The star of the day was right-arm quick bowlerKartik Tyagi, who finished with 4/24, as Australia were bowled out for 159in 43.3 overs as they chased a target of 234.