Morning digest: EU for swift end to all curbs in Kashmir, police lathicharge on anti-CAA protesters triggers chaos in Chennai, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

EU for swift end to all curbs in Kashmir

The European Union (EU) has called for swift removal of communication and political restrictions in Kashmir. The organisation was in touch with the Indian authorities for continuing dialogue regarding the situation in Kashmir, a spokesperson for the EU said.

Big setback if India and U.S. can’t agree on trade deal now, says top U.S. diplomat Alice Wells

If India and the U.S. cannot achieve a modest trade deal with U.S. President Donald Trump visiting India, it would be a “big setback”, the U.S.’s top diplomat for South and Central Asia, Alice Wells said. U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer cancelling his trip this week to India cast doubt on whether a mini trade deal could be completed before the February 24 visit of Mr Trump.

Tamil Nadu Budget 2020-21: Net debt to rise, revenue deficit set to double

Tamil Nadu’s net outstanding debt is expected to rise significantly to over ₹4.56-lakh crore in 2020-21, from ₹3.97-lakh crore projected in 2019-20. The State’s revenue deficit too is set to double compared to the previous projection owing to a host of factors, Deputy Chief Minister and State Finance Minister O. Paneerselvam said, presenting the budget in the Assembly on Friday.

Also read | Highlights of Tamil Nadu Budget 2020-21

Three-time Odisha MLA ‘confesses’ to double murder

The Chhattisgarh Police on Friday claimed that three-time Odisha MLA Anup Sai confessed to committing murder of a woman and her minor daughter in the year 2016.

Pulwama attack anniversary: BJP, Cong. locked in a war of words

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to the 40 CRPF soldiers killed in a terror attack on their convoy in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir a year ago, even as the anniversary was at the centre of a war of words between the BJP and the Opposition.

Also read | Who gained from Pulwama attack, asks Rahul

‘Ramayana-themed’ train on the cards, says Railways

The Railways plans to run a new train, Ramayana Express, with Ramayana-themed interiors and religious songs playing on board to give the passengers a feeling of ‘traveling in a temple.’

U.S. blacklists Sri Lankan Army Chief citing killings and abuses

The United States has blacklisted Sri Lanka’s Army Chief, Shavendra Silva, for human rights violations including extrajudicial killings during the last phase of the country’s civil war in 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on February 14.

‘Police assault’ on anti-CAA protesters in Chennai snowballs into road blockades across Tamil Nadu

​ Hundreds of members of Muslim outfits took to the streets and blocked roads at many places in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry late on February 14, hours after the Chennai Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse a large group of anti-CAA protesters at the city’s Old Washermanpet area.

Courts just don’t realise the significance of reservation to the SC, ST, says Chirag Paswan

In the light of the recent Supreme Court judgement on reservation and promotions, and the government’s reaction to it, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) President Chirag Paswan has reiterated the need for an Indian Judicial Service sensitive to the needs of the SC/ST and OBC communities.

Maharashtra govt.’s nod for transfer of Elgaar Parishad case to NIA ‘improper,’ says Sharad Pawar

While stating that the decision to grant consent for the transfer of the Elgaar Parishad case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was entirely the prerogative of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar took a veiled jibe at Mr. Thackeray, remarking that the Maharashtra government’s decision was “improper”.

Fight is to take the Constitution, country back: Anurag Kashyap

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Friday expressed his solidarity with anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protesters outside Jamia Millia Islamia and assured them that they were not alone in their struggle and asked them to have patience as it was going to be a long struggle.

SC rejects Nirbhaya convict’s plea against President’s decision

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by Nirbhaya case convict Vinay Sharma challenging the rejection of his mercy plea by the President.

Manchester City banned from European competition for two seasons by UEFA

Manchester City have been banned from European competition for the next two seasons and fined 30 million euros ($32.53 million) by European soccer’s governing body UEFA after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play Rules.

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