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Centre moves SC to stop release of Rajiv assassination convicts

New Delhi: The Central Government today moved the Supreme Court to stop the release of four convicts involved in the May-1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. The apex court agreed to hear the petition and fixed Thursday as next date of hearing.

The apex court had last week stayed the decision of the Tamil Nadu government to release three convicts in the case.

Acting on a petition filed by the Centre, the court issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government restraining the release of the convicts and directed it to maintain status quo till further orders.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had earlier said the state cabinet would apply powers vested in it under the Constitution to release the three convicts -- Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan -- if the Central Government failed to act on the same within the next three days.-- ANI

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Farmer activist immolates self in Assam; Protests erupt

Guwahati: A member of a farmers' body set himself ablaze here today to demand land deeds for people living on hills. Being first such incident in Assam, it triggered protests and road and rail blockades.

45-year-old Pranab Boro doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire during an agitation organised by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) before the state secretariat .

Boro was admitted to the Gauhat Medical College Hospital with 100 per cent burn injuries.

As soon as the news of Boro's bid spread, protests erupted at various places across the state.

"Road blockades at some places in Golaghat and Sivasagar and rail blockade in Jorhat are going on. We are taking action and clearing the blockades," Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) AP Rout said. The National Highway-37 was blocked at numerous places, including Koliapani in Jorhat district and Gaurisagar in Sivasagar district.

The police detained 10 protesters. It also detained 50 KMSS activists from Jorhat, Golaghat and Guwahati.

Protests were also reported from Morigaon and Sonitpur districts, where railway tracks were blocked.

Thousands of protesters gathered before DC offices in Jorhat, Tinsukia and Sivasagar districts and shouted slogans against the state government.-- PTI

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TRS chief Rao meets Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao today met Rahul Gandhi, a day after he held consultations with Congress president Sonia Gandhi following the passage of the Telangana Bill in the Parliament.

Rao's meetings with the top Congress leaders have come amid speculations over possible merger of his party with the Congress or an alliance between the two parties.

He also met President Pranab Mukherjee today to thank him for the Telangana issue.

Congress leaders from Telangana had met Sonia Gandhi, following which Union minister Sarvey Satyanarayana had said the Congress had been expecting the TRS would merge with it.-- PTI

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Now, Kejriwal writes to Rahul on gas pricing

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over the gas pricing issue. In the letter, the former Delhi Chief Minister has questioned Rahul Gandhi if he approves of the government paying eight dollars per unit to Mukesh Ambani for procuring gas.

Kejriwal earlier wrote a letter to Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi asking him to "clear his stand" on the gas price hike that he alleged was in favour to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.-- ANI

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China refutes Modi's 'expansionist mindset' remark

Beijing: China today said it had never waged a war to occupy "an inch of land of other countries", days after BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi slammed the Communist giant for its "expansionist mindset".

"You mentioned expansionism by the Chinese side. I believe all of you can see that China has never waged a war of aggression to occupy an inch of land of other countries," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters. she added, "There has never been any armed clashes in border areas over the years. So there is very strong evidence that we have the capability to maintain peace there. This is very good for the future development of the bilateral relations," highlighting that there was no major confrontation on Sino-Indian borders after the 1962 war.

Modi, at a rally in Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday, had asked China to shed its "expansionist mindset".-- PTI

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US snoops German key figures: Report
Interior minister also on radar

Washington: The US intelligence has been snooping on hundreds of key figures in Germany, a media report in the state has claimed. Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper has claimed that the US intelligence stepped up eavesdropping on prominent figures, including a minister after Chancellor Angela Merkel was dropped as a direct target.

According to the Huffington Post, the newspaper revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was monitoring 320 political and business leaders in Germany, including interior minister Thomas de Maiziere.

The newspaper quoted an unnamed high-ranking US intelligence employee in Germany saying they had the order not to allow any loss of information after the communication of the Chancellor not being directly monitored.

The claims are latest in the series of revelations that trickled after the mega exposť by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about the alleged mass surveillance operations.-- ANI

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