Indian Army chief Gen Pande in Nepal, to meet PM Deuba; SC to hear a CBI plea in ISRO ‘espionage’ case; Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in Delhi to meet Left leaders; Shortlist for the Booker Prize 2022 to be announced; Asia Cup 2022 – India Vs Sri Lanka in Dubai
In what is seen as a repeat of the Aam Aadmi Party’s strategy in Delhi, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren on Monday won the trust vote in the state assembly and slammed the BJP for creating what he called an “atmosphere of civil war and riots” with an aim to win polls.
The trust vote
As many as 48 MLAs voted in favour of the confidence motion in the 81-member assembly. The UPA legislators staying in Raipur resort flew back to Ranchi on Sunday to attend this special session.
Soren, who still faces the threat of disqualification on the basis of the purported Election Commission advisory to the Governor, had ring-fenced his MLAs by taking them to neighbouring Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh.
A political crisis emerged in Jharkhand after a petition by the BJP sought Soren’s disqualification from the assembly in an office of profit case. The Governor forwarded the BJP complaint to the ECI after which the poll panel issued a notice to the JMM leader.
TN rolls out ‘Delhi model’
Meanwhile, on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, the DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu government launched the Schools of Excellence and Model Schools Scheme, which is broadly based on schools in Delhi with upgraded infrastructure and improved learning opportunities.
Launching the scheme in Chennai in the presence of his Tamil Nadu counterpart M K Stalin, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said states should learn from each other on good practices transcending party politics and called for Centre-states cooperation to give fillip to the school education sector. More details here
Last week, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma took a jibe at Kejriwal after the latter criticised the BJP-led state government’s move to shut down schools over poor results.
The mandatory wearing of the seat belt by passengers in the rear seat of the car, as provided by the law, could have saved former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, who was killed in a road accident on Sunday.
The accident: According to a preliminary probe, Mistry, who along with his friend Jahangir Pandole were seated in the rear, wasn’t wearing a seat belt and must have been thrown in front at great velocity once the speeding car crashed into a divider. Both Mistry and Pandole died in the accident.
What law says: Although not wearing a seat belt by passengers sitting in the rear seats attracts a fine of Rs 1,000 under Rule 138 (3) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), most people are either unaware of this mandatory rule or just ignore them. Even traffic policemen seldom prosecute people for this offence.
Experts like KK Kapila, president Emeritus at International Road Federation, said the practice of fastening seat belts in the rear seat is very low even in big cities and metros and near-zero in the mid to smaller cities of India.
Airbags: The government intends to make it mandatory for carmakers to provide a minimum of six airbags in motor vehicles that can carry up to 8 passengers for enhanced safety of occupants, from October this year.
Speed kills: According to National Crime Records Bureau data for 2021, a majority (59.7 percent) of the road accidents were due to over-speeding, accounting for 87,050 deaths and injuries to 2.28 lakh persons.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in New Delhi on Monday on a four-day visit during which she will hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. The two sides are likely to ink pacts in key areas, including defence, trade and river water sharing.
‘A big burden’
Dhaka may also discuss cooperation with New Delhi on the Rohingya issue, according to Bangladeshi media.
The Rohingya migrants are a “big burden” on Bangladesh and the country is reaching out to the international community to ensure they return to their homeland, Hasian told Indian news agency ANI ahead of her trip on Sunday, adding India could play a major role in resolving the issue.
She said that her government had tried to take care of the displaced community keeping the humanitarian aspect in mind. “But how long they will stay here? …Our environment hazard is there. Then some people engage in drug trafficking or some arms conflict, women trafficking. Day by day it is increasing,” Hasina said.
The largest refugee camp
Thousands of Rohingya escaped Myanmar’s Rakhine state following large-scale violence and armed attacks in 2017.
More than 900,000 are currently staying in the Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh, which is now home to the world’s largest refugee camp.
There are about 40,000 Rohingya in India, of whom at least 20,000 are registered with the UN Human Rights Commission, according to Human Rights Watch.
Recently, the Home Ministry clarified that the refugees staying in Delhi would be held in detention centres until they were deported, in response to Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s tweet that there are plans to provide housing and security to the Rohingya community in the capital.
Liz Truss, the UK foreign secretary, defeated Indian-origin former chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party leadership contest. The results were declared on Monday, with Truss polling 81,326 votes compared to Sunak’s 60,399. Truss will now go on to formally take charge as the UK Prime Minister as Boris Johnson’s successor.
The 47-year-old senior cabinet minister was widely expected to clinch the ballot of an estimated 160,000 online and postal votes cast by Tory members, ending Sunak’s historic run as the first member of Parliament of Indian heritage to compete for the top job at 10 Downing Street.
Third woman: She will be the third female Prime Minister in the UK, after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May. She is expected to formally lay claim to her new office on Tuesday afternoon after Johnson hands in his formal resignation to the Queen at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
No surprise: The chair of the Conservative Party’s powerful 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, Sir Graham Brady, announced the result formally at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre near Downing Street. However, for pollsters, political analysts and media outlets it came as little surprise as Truss was widely expected to beat 42-year-old Sunak.
New but no honeymoon: Truss comes to PM’s office when the UK clamours for answers to the questions that the Johnson government failed to deal with — four-decade high inflation, the Ukraine war, energy security, the national health service, and the contrails of Brexit. Besides, she is also expected to lead the Tories to the 2025 general election, given that they have consistently lagged behind Labour in the polls all year.
The BJP, stepping up its attack on the AAP, released a “sting operation” video on Monday purportedly showing the father of a liquor scam accused claiming to have paid “commission” to acquire liquor licences in Delhi.
How: BJP’s Sambit Patra said, “The modus operandi as revealed in the video is that 80% of the profit will go to [CM Arvind] Kejriwal and [Deputy CM] Manish Sisodia and their friends. First, you give us our 80% commission and then sell the 20%, however you can, we do not care. This has been the policy of Kejriwal.”
Who was stung? The video featured Kulvinder Marwah, the father of Sunny Marwah, the accused number 13 in the liquor scam case. Sisodia is the accused number 1 in the case.
‘A joke’: This is how Sisodia dismissed the said sting operation. He said the CBI conducted a raid at his office and house, and searched his bank locker but found nothing incriminating against him. “When the CBI could not find anything and has almost given me a clean chit, the BJP has come up with this sting operation of some random person . This is not a sting operation, it’s a joke,” Sisodia said.
The case: Beyond the political dogfight between BJP and AAP, there is a CBI FIR in Delhi’s liquor policy case, in which 15 accused have been named. This happened after LG VK Saxena ordered a CBI probe suspecting irregularities in the policy implementation. Sisodia, also the excise minister, soon withdrew the policy. While he faced the probe, AAP alleged that BJP was trying to dislodge its government through what it called Operation Lotus (the election symbol of BJP). CBI later conducted raids at several places linked to Sisodia.
A suicide bombing at the entrance to the Russian Embassy in Kabul on Monday killed two staff members and at least one Afghan civilian, a rare attack on a foreign diplomatic mission in the South Asian country.
Was it Islamic State?
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, latest in a series of bombings and other attacks since the Taliban seized power a year ago.
The campaign of attacks has largely targeted Taliban positions or mosques of minority groups, particularly Shiites. Most of these attacks have been blamed on the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan, which opposes the Taliban and harbours a virulent hatred of Shiites, considering them heretics.
It was not immediately clear why militants targeted the Russian Embassy in particular. The Russian Embassy is one of only a couple of international missions still operating and performing consular services in Kabul — and the only European one.
Although Moscow has designated the Taliban as a terrorist group, the Taliban have representation in Russia and a delegation attended the recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
A rare incident
Attacks on embassies were rare even during the two-decade war between the Taliban and the Western-backed government. In 2017, the Taliban set off a massive truck bomb in a district where many government buildings and embassies were located, killing more than 90 Afghans and heavily damaging the nearby German Embassy.
Bengaluru inundated: Heavy monsoonal rain has flooded India’s tech capital, leaving roads waterlogged and several areas inundated. Social media is flooded with videos and photographs, showing an inundated Bengaluru. In some localities, tractors and boats were used to ferry students and office goers on Monday morning.
Why: Bengaluru received over 13 cm rainfall on Monday, with some areas receiving upto 18 cm. This excessive rainfall is attributed to a shear zone that has developed in southern Karnataka, engulfing Bengaluru within its ambit. A shear zone is a monsoon weather condition with opposing winds bringing heavy rain-bearing clouds over an area.
More to come: The IMD has predicted more heavy rains on Tuesday. Thunderstorms and lightning may continue in Karnataka for the next five days. The administration said the supply of Cauvery water to several parts of Bengaluru would be hit for the next two days.
Why Bengaluru chokes: It has become a regular feature. The primary reason is that the stormwater drains that criss-cross Bengaluru are old, decayed and lack capacity. A rainfall of 5-10cm is enough to have the drains brimming.
Who is to blame? Drains have been reduced to dumpyards, with citizens discarding trash in them. Illegal constructions — residential and commercial — on the banks of stormwater drains are ubiquitous, leaving no outlet for water. When it pours, water flows wherever it can. Encroachments allegedly happened with connivance with or neglect of the municipal officials. The city administration has also reportedly been slow in cleaning up the drains.
What now? CM Basavaraj Bommai said, “There have been heavy rains in Bengaluru…I have asked officials to depute two State Disaster Response Fund teams to Mahadevapura and Bommanahalli localities that have been worst affected, with boats and other equipment, and also to send engineers are there [for repair work].”
Order before disorder: It was in 2013 that the Supreme Court deemed virginity test on women unconstitutional, unscientific and discriminatory. In May this year, the Madras High Court directed the Tamil Nadu government to ban virginity test (two-finger test) on sexual assault . In July this year, the National Medical Council directed medical colleges to teach first-year MBBS students how the virginity test is unscientific.
Yet in Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, a 24-year-old woman was allegedly forced to take a “virginity test” by her in-laws, who thrashed her after she “failed” it. They called a panchayat that asked her family to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation, the police said on Monday.
FIR lodged: The police have filed a case against her in-laws. The woman alleged she was made to undergo the “test” on the first day of her marriage on May 11 in Bhilwara.
The woman alleged that her husband and his family assaulted her after she “failed” the “test” and that they convened the Khap panchayat at a local temple on May 31, asking for the compensation.
‘Rape victim’: Police said the woman told her in-laws she had been raped by a neighbour sometime before her marriage and that a rape case was filed at Subhash Nagar police station.
Kukadi Pratha: Police said the woman is a victim of Kukadi Pratha, prevalent among the members of the Sansi nomadic community. A woman is given a white bedsheet to sleep with her husband on their first night. Only if the bedsheet is stained with blood, the bride is considered to be virgin.
A suicide: Ironically, a daughter of the family now facing investigation for the alleged crime had died by suicide a year ago after she went through the same ordeal, the police said. More here
Wikipedia. The Ministry of Electronics & IT summoned executives from Wikipedia on Monday over fake information posted on the website’s page on cricketer Arshdeep Singh. The page was edited after India lost a cricket match in the ongoing Asia Cup to Pakistan. The edited version linked Arshdeep to the separatist Khalistani campaign. Arshdeep had put down a catch in the final moments of the match after which Pakistan registered a win over India. Now, the government has asked Wikipedia to explain how fake information got published. A high-level panel is expected to quiz the Wikipedia executives on precautionary checks. The misleading information reportedly was corrected by the Wikipedia team in 15 minutes.
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Written by: Rakesh Rai, Tejeesh Nippun Singh, Jayanta Kalita, Prabhash K Dutta Research: Rajesh Sharma