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New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 5 pm: NATION PAR20 PRESIDENT-LD ADDRESS Kovind condemns R'day violence during farmers protest; on standoff with China says India committed to protecting its sovereignty New Delhi' President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday strongly defended the three contentious agri laws that have sparked intense protests from a section of farmers, and condemned as ''very unfortunate' the Republic Day violence and the 'insult' to the tricolour during the farmers' tractor parade here on January 26.

DEL63 PRESIDENT-ADDRESS-SINOINDIA Govt 'vigilant', addl forces deployed at LAC: Prez Kovind amid India-China border standoff New Delhi: Against the backdrop of the Chinese aggression in eastern Ladakh, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said the government is 'vigilant' and that additional forces have also been deployed at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to protect the sovereignty of the country.

DEL34 LD PM There should be discussion, presentation of different views in Parliament: Modi New Delhi: On the first day of the Budget Session, which is set to be stormy with the opposition parties boycotting the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked MPs to debate and discuss all the issues that concern people of the country, and hoped that they will not shy away from contributing to fulfill people's aspirations, by making full use of Parliament and following all the propriety of democracy.

DEL61 DL-SINGHU-2NDLD VIOLENCE Tension at Singhu border as 'locals' clash with farm protesters, police fire tear gas New Delhi: Police fired tear gas and resorted to baton charge Friday to break up a clash between farmers and a large group of men claiming to be local residents who hurled stones at each other at the Singhu border, one of the main protest sites against farm laws.

DEL55 BIZ-SURVEY-LD GROWTH India GDP to grow 11 pc in FY'22 aided by V-shaped recovery: Eco Survey New Delhi: India's economy is likely to rebound with a 11 per cent growth in the next financial year as it makes a 'V-shaped' recovery after witnessing a pandemic-led carnage, the Pre-Budget Economic Survey said on Friday.

DEL14 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 18,855 fresh cases, 163 more fatalities; recovery rate surges to 96.96 pc New Delhi: With 18,855 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally has gone up to 1,07,20,048, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 1,03,94,352, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.96 per cent, the health ministry said on Friday.

DEL73 PRESIDENT-OPPN-LD BJP President above political differences, Oppn boycotting his address 'unfortunate': BJP New Delhi: Terming the boycott of President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the joint sitting of Parliament by opposition parties as 'unfortunate', the BJP on Friday said as the symbol constitutional head of the country, the President is above political differences, and attacked the Congress, saying its 'arrogance' is the 'real problem'.

DEL64 CONG-FARMERS PM weakening India by attacking farmers: Rahul New Delhi: The Congress hit out at the Centre on Friday over the farmers' protest against the new farm laws, with former party president Rahul Gandhi alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was 'weakening' India by 'attacking' farmers.

DEL3 NCR-FARMERS-LD GHAZIABAD Farmers' stir: Crowd swells at UP Gate, 'excess force' removed Ghaziabad (UP): Hundreds of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) members stayed put on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Friday as the crowd swelled there overnight, notwithstanding the Ghaziabad administration's ultimatum to vacate the UP Gate protest site.

LEGAL LGD9 SC-CONTEMPT-ARTISTS Contempt case against comic artist: SC says criticism growing, everybody doing it now New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday observed that criticism of courts is “growing and everybody is now doing it” now, while giving three weeks to cartoonist Rachit Taneja to file her reply on the plea seeking contempt action for her alleged scandalous tweets against the judiciary.

LGD7 DL-COURT-LD RIOTS-UAPA-KALITA Delhi riots: Court rejects Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita's bail plea in UAPA case New Delhi: A court here has rejected the bail plea of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student and Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita, booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in a northeast Delhi riots case, saying the allegations against her are prima facie and provisions of the anti-terror law have been rightly invoked in the case.

FOREIGN FGN20 CHINA-INDIA-JAISHANKAR-REAX China says it appreciates Jaishankar's suggestions to mend Sino-India ties Beijing: China on Friday said it has taken note of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's suggestions to mend the strained bilateral relations, saying that it appreciates his remarks which showed that New Delhi attached importance to ties with Beijing. By K J M Varma FGN12 US-PENTAGON-INDIA Biden admin to remain committed to a strong US-India bilateral relationship: Pentagon Washington: The Biden administration is going to remain committed to a strong bilateral relationship with India, the Pentagon has said, a day after US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke for the first time with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. By Lalit K Jha PTI TDS TDS