Here are the top 5 news of December 23, 2020:
1. Sister Abhaya murder case: Father Thomas Kottoor, nun Sephy sentenced to life imprisonment by CBI court
A CBI special court in Thiruvananthapuram today awarded life imprisonment to the catholic priest and nun, who were found guilty of the murder of Sister Abhaya 28 years ago in Kottayam.
Special CBI Judge K Sanal Kumar awarded double life sentence to Father Thomas Kottoor and imposed a fine of Rs 6.5 lakh. Whereas the other accused in the case, Sister Sephy, was sentenced to life and a fine of Rs 5.5 lakh was slapped on her.
The court had on Tuesday found the two guilty of the murder of Sister Abhaya, who was found dead in a well in St Pius convent in Kottayam in 1992. The court also sentenced the duo to seven years of imprisonment for tampering with evidence. However, the sentences shall run concurrently, the court said.
2. New coronavirus strain in UK: After Maharashtra, Karnataka imposes night curfew
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa today said a night curfew will be imposed from December 23 night till January 2 across the state as a precautionary measure in line with the Centre's advice amid concerns over a new COVID-19 variant spreading in the UK. The night curfew will be from 10 pm and 6 am.
The Chief Minister made the announcement following a meeting with Health Minister K Sudhakar, members of the state Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for COVID-19 and senior officials.
"It (Night curfew) will be applicable for the entire state.. I request all public to cooperate to prevent and contain the new COVID-19 strain," Yediyurappa said.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Monday had declared a night curfew in all municipal corporation areas.
3. J&K DDC polls: PAGD gets clear majority; BJP emerged as the single largest party
The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) swept the maiden District Development Council (DDC) polls by winning 110 seats, while the BJP emerged as the single largest party by getting 74 seats after securing the largest vote share in Jammu and Kashmir. The results of four constituencies are still awaited.
As expected, the PAGD has bagged most of the seats from the Kashmir valley while BJP has fared well in its traditional bastion of Jammu. However, for the first time the BJP has registered a win in the valley while facing regional heavyweights like the NC and the PDP.
Meanwhile, former Chief Minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir, Omar Abdullah said that with 'defeat' in DDC polls, BJP-led Central government will not conduct Legislative Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir anytime soon. Besides, Mehbooba Mufti said that the people have rejected "the unconstitutional decision to abrogate Article 370" and have "overwhelmingly supported" the PAGD and endorsed its plan seeking restoration of J&K's special status.
The BJP, however, said that by showing faith in democracy, the people of Kashmir delivered a slap in the faces of separatists. The "lotus bloom" in the valley was described by the BJP as a victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policies.
4. Bishan Singh Bedi aks DDCA to remove his name from Kotla stand, quits membership over Jaitley statue
Lambasting the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) for deciding to install a statue of its late former President Arun Jaitley at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground, spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi has asked the body to remove his name from the spectators' stand, named after him in 2017.
Lashing out at the DDCA's culture, which he alleged promotes nepotism and puts "administrators ahead of cricketers", Bedi also renounced his membership of the body.
He made the demand in a scathing letter addressed to DDCA President Rohan Jaitley, the son of the late politician Arun Jaitley.
"I pride myself as a man of immense tolerance and patience...but all that I'm afraid, is running out. DDCA has truly tested me and forced me to take this drastic action. So, Mr President I request you to remove my name from the stand named after me with immediate effect. Also, I hereby renounce my DDCA membership," Bedi wrote in his letter.
Meanwhile, former DDCA cricket committee head Madan Lal has backed Bedi. "I am with Bishan Singh Bedi in this matter, because whatever is happening in DDCA is not good. It's a cricket club and only cricket-related issues should be talked about there. There are so many issues and on which Bedi Ji has taken a stand, I will back him," said Lal.
5. Tamil Nadu government allows Jallikattu 2021 to take place, COVID-negative report mandatory for bull tamers
Jallikattu, the popular bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu, could be held next month by following the guidelines imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said today.
A maximum of 300 participants would only be allowed for Jallikattu. Spectators shall be subjected to thermal scanning before entry into the open spaces earmarked for the events and they must follow requisite social distancing and wear masks, the government said in an official release.
The participants should necessarily possess a COVID-19 negative certificate from government authorised labs. The bull tamers should also test themselves for coronavirus infection at a government-recognised laboratory and only when they are confirmed to not have the virus infection, they will be allowed to participate, the government said.
(With inputs from agencies)