Says Rahul as he launches rally in Punjab; CBI to probe UP gangrape case

Congress's Rahul Gandhi yesterday promised Punjab farmers that the party will remove the contentious farm sector laws once it comes to power in the Centre. Calling Minimum Support Price, food procurement and wholesale markers the "three pillars" of the country, Gandhi said "Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to destroy this system".

"Their (the BJP's) only aim is to destroy MSP and food procurement... The Congress is never going to let this government to do it," he added, flagging off the three-day tractor rally by farmers in Punjab.

Farmers and the opposition claim the new laws -- which enable them to sell produce to corporates anywhere in the country -- lays them open to exploitation by big companies. The protests against the two laws are the loudest in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana, the grain bowl of the country.

India's federal investigators will take over the probe into the alleged gang-rape and murder of a low-caste teenaged woman that has sparked nationwide outrage and days of protests.

The 19-year-old woman from the marginalised Dalit community was attacked in mid-September in northern Uttar Pradesh state and died on Tuesday, in the latest case highlighting India's epidemic of sexual violence. Five senior police officers have already been suspended over the investigation amid criticism of law enforcement's actions -- including the cremation of the woman's body in the middle of the night against the wishes of her family.