News18 Afternoon Digest: Bharat Bandh Puts Delhi on High Alert; Bihar Poll Dates to be Announced Today and Other Top Stories

Farmers block the Delhi Meerut highway in Ghaziabad to protest against new farm bills.

Farmers block the Delhi Meerut highway in Ghaziabad to protest against new farm bills.

These are the top stories we are covering this afternoon: Farmers Hold Nationwide Protests Against Farm Bills; Election Commission to Announce Bihar Assembly Election Dates today; Punjab Considers Making Entire State a ‘Mandi Yard’ to Bypass New Farm Laws; Australia batsman Dean Jones Passes Away; Images Reveal Many New Detention Sites for Uighur Muslims in China and Poonam Pandey Recounts Assault By Husband Sam Bombay.

Bharat Bandh Puts Delhi, UP on High Alert as Farmers Hold Nationwide Protests Against Farm Bills

The Delhi Police have tightened the security at the border areas in the wake of the Bharat Bandh called by over two dozen farmer organisations on Friday. Barricades have been put in areas bordering Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, and the vehicles entering Delhi are being checked. A high alert has also been sounded in western Uttar Pradesh when farmers' groups and opposition political parties have organised 'Bharat Bandh', against three farm bills passed by Parliament. Over two dozen farmer organisations have announced support for the 'Bandh call' on Friday to protest against the Farm Bills passed by Parliament amid protests by 18 political parties. The 31 farmer organisations in Punjab and Haryana are already protesting.

Bihar Assembly Election Dates to be Announced By Election Commission At 12.30pm

The Election Commission of India will announce the dates for the assembly elections in Bihar at 12.30 pm on Friday. This will be the first state election to be held in India since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The elections are likely to be held in mid-October, in more than one phase because of Covid-19 precautions. Bihar has to elect a new 243-member assembly by November 29. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who leads a coalition with the BJP, will fight for a fourth term in these elections, with the opposition RJD and the Congress challenging him.

As Farmer Protests Intensify, Punjab Considers Making Entire State a ‘Mandi Yard’ to Bypass New Laws

With the stir against the Centre’s agriculture reforms intensifying, Punjab is “seriously contemplating” amending the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act and declaring the entire state as a Principal Mandi Yard. The development comes as the government is also facing heat from the Opposition after the resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal's (SAD) lone minister in the Narendra Modi government over the proposed legislation. A report in The Indian Express, citing sources, said that the Congress government, which is under “tremendous political pressure”, feels that doing so will bypass provisions in The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, which was cleared by the Parliament.

IPL 2020: When Brett Lee Desperately Tried to Revive Dean Jones with CPR

When former Australia batsman Dean Jones collapsed in the lobby of a Mumbai hotel on Thursday, his fellow Aussie and former Test speedster Brett Lee desperately tried to revive him, according to a newspaper report in Australia. Jones, 59, died of a "sudden cardiac arrest", according to a statement from STAR India, with which he was working as a commentator for the Indian Premier League. "Daily Mail Australia understands Jones collapsed in the lobby of the hotel as he entered with former fast bowler Brett Lee, who desperately tried to revive him with CPR," wrote the newspaper on its website.

Night Images Reveal Many New Detention Sites for Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Region

As China faced rising international censure last year over its mass internment of Muslim minorities, officials asserted that the indoctrination camps in the western region of Xinjiang had shrunk as former camp inmates rejoined society as reformed citizens. Researchers at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute on Thursday challenged those claims with an investigation that found that Xinjiang authorities had been expanding a variety of detention sites since last year. Rather than being released, many detainees were likely being sent to prisons and perhaps other facilities, the investigation found, citing satellite images of new and expanded incarceration sites.

Poonam Pandey Recounts Assault By Husband Sam Bombay: He Punched Me in Face, Knelt on My Body

Actor Poonam Pandey has broken her silence after filing a police complaint against her husband, film producer Sam Bombay. Poonam, who married Sam two weeks ago in a private ceremony, was on her honeymoon in Goa when she filed a complaint of assault against Sam. Poonam said that her relationship with Sam had always been violent but she hoped that getting married would change things. She said Sam would get very possessive about her and lose his temper. She has made the decision not to go back to him.

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