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February 20, 2019
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India vs England, 2nd Test Day 1: The shoe is on the other foot in Visakhapatnam

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    India's captain Virat Kohli, left, and Cheteshwar Pujara laugh as they leave the ground after a dog ran into the field during their first day of second cricket test match against England in Visakhapatnam, India, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
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    Cricket - India v England - Second Test cricket match - Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam, India - 17/11/16. India's Cheteshwar Pujara plays a shot. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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    Cricket - India v England - Second Test cricket match - Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam, India - 17/11/16. India's Virat Kohli plays a shot. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
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    Cricket - India v England - Second Test cricket match - Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam, India - 17/11/16 - India's Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring his century. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

THE FIRST day of a Test match in India has almost become a sign-spotting exercise about the rest of the game. Did the ball misbehave a bit? Did it occasionally keep low? Was there any turn? Was there a puff of dust on the pitch in the last session? The first day itself generally flows in an auto-pilot mode, a kind of day England would have dreaded when the tour to India was finalised. Lose the toss, watch Indian batsmen loot runs, and as the day wears on, wince when occasionally the ball does some tricks. Vizag even threw in a dog interruption for that complete Indian experience. There was also a little bit of turn, the odd one that kept low; and some wear and tear appeared on the track.

With the spinners bowling a lot of tripe – they were spot on with the lines if not their lengths at Rajkot but erred on both fronts here — and the seamers unable to get any reverse, it needed a canine intervention to stop Cheteshwar Pujara from making a ton before tea. England started well, curtailing a gorgeous 20 from M Vijay with a bouncer from James Anderson and taking out the Gautam Gambhir replacement KL Rahul cheaply, but came unstuck against the class of Virat Kohli and Pujara.

Live: Govt. ready for discussion on demonetisation, says Ananth Kumar

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On Friday, day three of the winter session, Rajya Sabha proceedings were disrupted with Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi demanding an apology from Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad for his remarks on Thursday. Mr. Azad had made comments linking the Uri terror attack casualties to the deaths during the demonetisation “crisis”. The Lok Sabha did not see much happening in the first leg, with the Opposition creating ruckus over the demonetisation issue.

On day two, both Houses witnessed continued protests from the Opposition on the demonetisation move. They demanded the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to respond in the demonetisation debate, but it was rejected by the government benches immediately. Repeated efforts by the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to bring normality proved futile and she adjourned the House. In the Rajya Sabha, once again Opposition parties stormed the well of the House. Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien’s efforts proved futile and the House was adjourned many times.

On day one, the Lok Sabha was adjourned after obituary references and the Rajya Sabha witnessed some serious debate between the government and Opposition on the demonetisation move. The Opposition parties moved adjournment motion in the Lok Sabha for day 2.

Two crore Bangladeshi immigrants illegally staying in India, Centre informs Rajya Sabha

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NEW DELHI: The government, citing inputs available with it, told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that there were around 2 crore Bangladeshi immigrants staying illegally in India.

The rise in the number of illegal Bangaldeshi immigrants, which almost equals the size of the entire population of Australia, shows a rise of around 67% over the 1.2 crore estimate given out by the UPA government in 2004 but withdrawn soon after.

“There are reports of Bangladeshi nationals having entered the country without valid travel documents. Since entry of such Bangladeshi nationals into the country is clandestine and surreptitious, it is not possible to have accurate data of such Bangladeshi nationals living in the various parts of the country. As per available inputs, there are around 20 million (2 crore) illegal Bangladeshi migrants staying in India,” Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said in written reply to a question posed by Rajya Sabha MP Jharna Das Baidya.

The 20 million estimate far surpasses the figure of 12 million cited by then minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal in 2004 in the same House.

Jaiswal had, in reply to a question dated July 15, 2004, said that 1,20,53,950 illegal Bangladeshi migrants were residing in 17 states and Union territories as on December 31, 2001. He also said Assam alone accounted for 50 lakh Bangladeshi squatters, while their number in West Bengal was estimated to be the highest at 57 lakh.

The BJP, which was then the main opposition party, demanded that the 12 lakh illegal Bangladeshi immigrants be identified and deported. As a political storm brewed in states like Assam, Jaiswal withdrew his reply, dismissing the 12 million figure as one based on “unreliable reports” and “hearsay”.

However, a Union minister on Wednesday said it was a conscious decision by Modi government to highlight the 20 million estimate of illegal Bangladeshi migrants residing in India. “Unlike UPA, we won’t be cowed down by pressure to deny the figure as ‘hearsay’,” said the minister.

Incidentally, Rijiju’s reply does not dwell on a definite strategy of the government to identify and deport the 20 million illegal Bangladeshi migrants. “Deportation of illegally staying foreign nationals is continuous process. The powers of identification, detention and deportation of illegal foreign nationals including Bangladeshi nationals have been delegated to the state governments and Union territories under Section 3(2)(c) of the Foreigners Act, 1946,” he stated.

 BJP is in power in Assam, which with West Bengal shows the highest incidence of illegal immigration from Bangladesh. Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had, after coming to power in May this year, declared his intent to update the national register of citizens (NRC) in Assam and seal Indo-Bangladesh border in the state in two years.
West Bengal, however, may be at odds with the Centre’s assessment of number of Bangladeshi immigrants staying illegally within its jurisdiction.
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