Free Press Bulletin
Free Press Bulletin

Here are the top 5 news updates of February 4, 2021:

1. Priyanka Gandhi meets family of deceased farmer in UP's Rampur

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi today met family members of Navreet Singh in Rampur, a farmer who lost his life during the protest in New Delhi on Republic Day, and also attended a prayer ceremony for him. The 27-year-old Singh died after his tractor overturned during the farmers' tractor parade on January 26.

Accompanied by senior Congress leaders including party's Uttar Pradesh unit chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, Gandhi arrived at the native village of the deceased farmer around noon. She attended the 'antim ardas' and sat with family members with her head covered.

2. US backs India's new farm laws, says it will improve efficiency of markets

The United States has come out in support of India's new farm laws, saying it welcomes steps that would "improve the efficiency" of Indian markets and attract greater private sector investment. Reacting on the ongoing farm protests in India, a State Department spokesperson said that Washington recognizes that "peaceful protests are a hallmark of any thriving democracy", adding that differences between the parties be resolved through dialogue.

"We recognize that peaceful protests are a hallmark of any thriving democracy, and note that the Indian Supreme Court has stated the same," the spokesperson said. "We encourage that any differences between the parties be resolved through dialogue. In general, the United States welcomes steps that would improve the efficiency of India's markets and attract greater private sector investment," the spokesperson added.

3. 'Sharjeel Usmani will be arrested': Sena promises action against former AMU student

Shiv Sena today promised action against AMU student leader Sharjeel Usmani who is accused of "hurting Hindu religious sentiments" at theElgar Parishad in Pune on January 30. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, Sena appealed to BJP leaders in Maharashtra to keep calm over the issue, assuring that the Mumbai Police would find Usmani from wherever he is and arrest him.

Meanwhile, the Pune City Police on Tuesday had filed an FIR against Usmani for a speech he had delivered. BJP leaders Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar have demanded that Usmani should be booked under sedition charges for his statements.

4. Twitter deletes Kangana Ranaut's tweets over rule violations

Twitter India today removed two of the tweets by Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, citing a violation of the platform's rules. The actor has been criticising protesting farmers over their agitations against the Centre's three farm laws. In one of the tweets, the actor had talked about "eradication" of "cancer" from the country. Ranaut has been incessantly tweeting since Tuesday when international pop star Rihanna came out in support of the farmers' agitations.

This is not the first time that Twitter has taken action against Ranaut. The actor's handle was last month briefly suspended after she posted a tweet in reference to the controversy surrounding Amazon Prime Video series "Tandav". In the tweet, the actor had used the phrase "time to take their heads off", which was reported by many users as offensive.

5. Markets at fresh highs; Sensex rallies 359 pts, Nifty near 14,900

Rallying for the fourth successive session, equity benchmark Sensex jumped 359 points to scale a fresh lifetime high today, led by gains in ITC, SBI and Kotak Bank. After touching an all-time high of 50,687.51 during the day, the 30-share BSE index ended 358.54 points or 0.71 per cent at its new closing record of 50,614.29. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty finished 105.70 points or 0.71 per cent higher at its closing peak of 14,895.65. It touched an intra-day record of 14,913.70.

ITC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, soaring around 6 per cent, followed by SBI, Bajaj Finance, ONGC, M&M, Kotak Bank, UltraTech Cement and NTPC. On the other hand, Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Airtel, Tech Mahindra and Titan were among the laggards.

(With input from agencies)

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