HIGHLIGHTS AT 9.45 PM

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9.45 pm: NATION DEL90 2ND LD ALL AKBAR-RAMANI Delhi court throws out Akbar’s defamation case against journalist Ramani, #MeToo movement gets a boost New Delhi: Declaring that the right of reputation cannot be protected at the cost of right of life and dignity, a Delhi court on Wednesday threw out former Union minister and editor M J Akbar’s criminal defamation suit against journalist Priya Ramani who has accused him of sexual harassment.

DEL66 BIZ-PM-LD OIL Petrol at Rs 100: PM Modi blames previous govts for not cutting import dependence New Delhi: On a day when petrol crossed the Rs 100 mark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the middle-class would not have been burdened if the previous governments had focussed on reducing India's energy import dependence.

DEL94 JK-3RDLD ENVOYS Foreign envoys begin 2-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir to assess situation Srinagar: Envoys from several countries including member states of the European Union and the OIC began a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday to assess the ground situation in view of the efforts made to restore normalcy by strengthening democratically-elected local bodies.

DEL81 RAIL-LD FARMERS-SECURITY Rail Roko: Railways deploys 20 additional RPSF companies, focus on Punjab, Haryana, UP New Delhi: The railways has deployed 20 additional companies of the RPSF across the country, with focus on Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, in the wake of the 'rail roko' called on Thursday by farmer groups protesting against the Centre's new agri laws.

MDS23 PD-LD-RAHUL Rahul Gandhi attacks PM, alleges nobody can get justice without fearing consequences Puducherry: Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged none can get justice from the judicial system in the country without being terrified of the consequences.

DEL79 PB-LD CIVIC POLLS Congress sweeps Punjab civic polls, boost for Amarinder Chandigarh: The ruling Congress won six municipal corporations and emerged as the largest party in the seventh, sweeping the urban body polls in Punjab on Wednesday.

DEL32 DL-RDAY-VIOLENCE-LD ARREST R-Day violence: Man seen swinging swords at Red Fort arrested New Delhi: A 30-year-old man allegedly seen swinging swords with the intent of 'motivating' and 'energising' protesters at Red Fort during the violence on Republic Day has been arrested, police said on Wednesday.

DEL76 INDIA-COVID-MEET India hosting meet on COVID-19 management; nine countries invited New Delhi: India is hosting on Thursday a regional conclave on management of coronavirus pandemic and nine countries, including Afghanistan Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, have been invited for it, official sources said.

DEL10 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 11,610 fresh cases, 100 more fatalities; recovery rate 97.33 pc New Delhi: With 11,610 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally has climbed to 1,09,37,320, while the number of recoveries has surged to 1,06,44,858, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.

DEL69 UK-FLOODS RESCUE Uttarakhand floods: Rescue efforts hampered by water accumulation inside tunnel Tapovan (U'khand): Rescuers pumped out the water accumulated in the NTPC's flood-ravaged Tapovan tunnel on Wednesday as they continued efforts on the 11th day to find survivors of the February 7 glacial disaster.

BOM6 MP-BUS-LD TOLL MP bus accident: 4 more bodies recovered; toll rises to 51 Bhopal/Rewa/Sidhi: The death toll in the bus accident in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district has gone up to 51 with the recovery of four more bodies on Wednesday, officials said.

LEGAL BOM5 MH-HC-TOOLKIT-LD BAIL Toolkit case: Suspect Nikita Jacob gets transit pre-arrest bail Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted transit anticipatory bail to advocate Nikita Jacob, a suspect in a case registered by Delhi police in connection with the 'toolkit' shared by climate activist Greta Thunberg over the ongoing farmers' protest.

LGD15 SC-LD CHARDHAM SC allows Centre to reply to panel chief's letter linking Chardham project to Uttarakhand disaster New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Centre to respond to the 'allegations' of the Chairman of committee on Chardham project linking broadening of the road to the recent flash floods on Dhauliganga river, which damaged Tapovan hydro project and loss of lives in Uttarakhand. BUSINESS DEL65 CAB-2NDLD-TELECOM-PLI-SCHEME Govt approves over Rs 12,000 cr manufacturing push for telecom equipment New Delhi: The government on Wednesday approved a Rs 12,195 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for telecom gear manufacturing in India which is expected to encourage production of equipment worth Rs 2.44 lakh crore and create direct and indirect employment for about 40,000 people, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

FOREIGN FGN47 UNSC-VIRUS-VACCINE-JAISHANKAR United Nations: India, which has shipped ‘Made In India’ COVID-19 vaccines to around 25 nations, on Wednesday urged the international community to stop “vaccine nationalism” and actively encourage “internationalism”, underlining that hoarding superfluous doses will defeat global efforts to attain collective health security and combat the pandemic. By Yoshita Singh. PTI HDA