Morning digest: 3 policemen, 3 militants killed in J&K incidents; minor among 2 youths held for Unnao girls' death, and more

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

Unnao Dalit girls death | Two youths, including minor, held

According to police, the main accused, Vinay, confessed to giving water mixed with insecticide to one of the girls after she continuously refused to give him her phone number. According to the accused, the other two girls, all relatives, snatched the bottle and drank from it, despite his attempts to stop them.

Ladakh standoff | India, China complete disengagement at Pangong Tso

The 10th round of Corps Commander talks will be held at Moldo on the Chinese side around 10 a.m. on February 20, a defence official said. Disengagement is fully complete as per the agreement and has been jointly verified by both sides.

PM Modi launches slew of infra projects in Kerala

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated a bevy of infrastructure projects in Kerala, including the 2,000-MW Pugalur-Thrissur high voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission corridor.

EU calls for early polls in J&K

The European Union (EU) envoys, who studied the ground situation for two days in J&K, on Friday have praised certain measures taken post August 5 in the Union Territory (UT) but called for “early organisation of the legislative Assembly elections,” which remains in a suspended animation since June 2018.

At Parliamentary panel meeting, chairman rejects questions on fuel price hike

Amid severe criticism of frequent hike in fuel prices, questions on the issue by Opposition leaders at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum on Friday were shut down by Chairman and BJP leader Ramesh Bidhuri by shifting the blame on States for imposing additional taxes.

Make private traders pay MSP to farmers: All India Kisan Sabha

The Left-affiliated farmers organisation, which is part of the ongoing farm protests, argued that its proposal for legally guaranteed MSPs would not place the entire additional burden on the government budget, or ultimately, the taxpayer. Instead, the large corporates who make large profits from agribusiness must be forced to share their surplus with the primary producers, AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah said.

Ground zero | When the mountains had a meltdown in Uttarakhand

An avalanche in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand early this month claimed at least 62 lives, destroyed two hydropower projects and ravaged the region. Jacob Koshy reports on how development projects are endangering the lives of people in the young and fragile Himalayas.

Supreme Court refuses plea against Madhya Pradesh law on religious conversions

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde asked petitioner Vishal Thakre to approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court.

U.S. sees Facebook dispute as a matter between companies and Australia

"This is a business negotiation between multiple private companies and the Australian government. Any questions on the status and implications of private business decisions should be directed towards those companies," U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

Sri Lanka’s northern Tamils sceptical ahead of ‘another Geneva session’

Ahead of the 46th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council beginning next week, the Sri Lankan government, Tamil polity, civil society, and diaspora groups are frantically lobbying member countries, hoping for different outcomes for families of forcibly disappeared persons in the Sri Lankan civil war.

Ankita claims her second WTA doubles title

Ankita Raina and Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia captured her second career doubles title on the WTA Tour as the duo beat Anna Blinkova and Anastasia Potapova of Russia 2-6, 6-4, [10-7] in the final of the Phillip Island Trophy WTA 250 tennis tournament here on Friday.

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