Here are the top 5 news updates of January 26, 2021:
1. India celebrates 72nd Republic Day, President Ram Nath Kovind unfurls flag at Rajpath
As India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day today, President Ram Nath Kovind unfurled the national flag and received the customary 21-gun salute at Rajpath. The 21-gun salute was presented by the Ceremonial Battery of 223 Field Regiment that was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jitender Singh Mehta.
Earlier, PM Modi paid solemn tributes to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial at the India Gate. After unfurling the national flag, the first formation comprising of four Mi-17 V5 helicopters of the 155 Helicopter Unit flew and showered flowers at the Rajpath and guests. The helicopters flew in a Wineglass formation. Thereafter, India's military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress was on display at the majestic Rajpath. This year there was no chief guest due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
At least one person was killed in a clash with police during farmers' protest in the national capital today. Local reports identified the person as Navneet, 45, from Uttarakhand. Police said the tractor he was driving turned turtle, resulting in his death, a claim denied by the protesters who alleged that the driver lost control after being hit by a bullet.
Meanwhile, protesting farmers clashed with police at several places in the national capital and entered the iconic Red Fort and ITO in the heart of the national capital, with hundreds of them deviating from pre-decided routes, prompting security personnel to resort to lathicharge and tear gas. Chaotic scenes were witnessed at ITO, where hundreds of protesters could be seen chasing police personnel with sticks and ramming their tractors into the buses parked by police.
3. Farmers storm Red Fort, hoist 'Nishan Sahib'; Police use teargas as R-Day tractor parade turns violent
Wielding sticks and clubs and holding the tricolour and union flags, tens of thousands of farmers atop tractors broke barriers, clashed with police and entered Delhi from various points to lay siege to the Red Fort and climb the flagpole on Republic Day today. Visuals showed the protesters breaking through the barricades, and clashing with the police even as they were countered with water cannons and tear gas.
Some of the protesters also installed flags in the lower ramparts of the Red Fort. This included the Nishan Sahib as well as union flags. Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and many others spoke out sternly against the agitators, dubbing their actions as being "most unfortunate". "I have supported the farmers’ protests from the start but I cannot condone lawlessness. And on Republic Day no flag but the sacred tiranga should fly aloft the Red Fort," Tharoor tweeted.
Maharashtra faced a financial blow during the COVID-19 crisis, but the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government took different measures to come out of the situation, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said today. Addressing a programme at Shivaji Park to mark the 72nd Republic Day, Koshyari said Maharashtra remained at the forefront of attracting investments and employment generation even during the adverse situation of COVID-19 crisis.
He hailed the government machinery for working "day and night" hand-in-hand with the state's health apparatus, and said that is why people welcomed the New Year with "a positive beginning and lots of hope". The governor also urged people to exhibit the "same courage" shown during the COVID-19 crisis and remain alert about health by adopting a new lifestyle with self-discipline.
After the temporary ban, which came into effect from June 29, 2020, the government of India has issued yet another notice to TikTok on the permanent ban of the app in the country. The notice has been issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT after reviewing replies of blocked apps.
The report by Live Mint, further stated that the government is not satisfied with the response/explanation given by these companies and thus the ban for these 59 apps is permanent now. When contacted, Tiktok confirmed to have received a reply from the government. "We are evaluating the notice and will respond to it as appropriate. TikTok was among the first companies to comply with the Government of India directive issued on June 29, 2020. We continually strive to comply with local laws and regulations and do our best to address any concerns the government may have. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users remains to be our topmost priority," a TikTok spokesperson said.
(With input from agencies)