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New Delhi, Dec 30 (PTI) These are the top stories from the northern region at 4.45 pm.

DEL32 UP-CONVERSION-CIVIL SERVANTS Retd bureaucrats term UP 'epicentre of hate politics', seek withdrawal of anti-conversion ordinance New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh has become the 'epicentre of the politics of hate, division and bigotry' and the institutions of governance are 'steeped in communal poison,' alleged 104 retired civil servants in a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

DES19 PB-FARMERS-SAD-LD CONG Hold direct talks with PM for successful outcome: Cong, SAD to farmers Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress on Wednesday urged farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws to talk directly with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying otherwise the dialogue will not yield any result.

DES6 PB-SIDHU-APOLOGY Navjot Sidhu tenders apology for hurting Sikh sentinments Chandigarh: Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday tendered an apology after the Akal Takht Jathedar asked him to do so for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community by wearing a shawl bearing some religious symbols.

DES13 HR-VIJ Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij discharged from hospital Chandigarh: Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij was on Wednesday discharged from Gurgaon’s Medanta Hospital where he had undergone treatment for COVID-19.

DES22 UKD-INTERFAITH Interfaith couple booked for religious conversion in violation of law Dehradun: An interfaith couple and two others have been booked here for not following proper procedure laid down under the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act for converting to a different religion for the purpose of marriage.

DES8 HP-YEARENDER Himachal Pradesh 2020: Light at end of tunnel for Covid-hit state Shimla: The opening of the nine-kilometre Rohtang tunnel, the longest in the world at that altitude, was a bright spot in Himachal Pradesh’s COVID-marred year that saw tourist arrivals plummet and sittings of the state legislature cancelled.

DES18 HP-VIRUS-SHANTA Former Himachal CM Shanta Kumar taken to Mohali for COVID-19 treatment Dharamshala (HP): Former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Shanta Kumar, who is suffering from COVID-19, has been taken to Fortis Hospital Mohali for treatment, officials said on Wednesday, a day after his wife died from the virus.

DES15 HP-LD TOURISTS Himachal sees tourist influx due to snowfall, new year celebrations Shimla: After recent snowfall in several places in Himachal Pradesh, people from various parts of the country especially from neighbouring Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are thronging its tourist hotspots to usher in the New Year. PTI RDK RDK