Allahabad HC Castigates Yogi Govt for ‘Misuse’ of Cow Law; Bid By 'Linked' Firm Helped Adani Win Coal Auction
RSS leader calls gay sex a ‘rakshasa’ act, furore over secret deal between US govt and Pegasus supplier, China’s name game, govt faces heavy burden of OROP, how BJP uses Facebook to push propaganda
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia, Tanweer Alam and Pratik Kanjilal | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi | Editor: Vinay Pandey
Snapshot of the day
April 4, 2023
Despite the government being aware of the dangers of ‘bid rigging’ – when firms collude with each other to purchase an asset – the Adani group won a coal block in Maharashtra with 200 million tones of deposits last month in a bid process where the only other bidder is a company with reported links to the conglomerate. Scroll.in found that this other bidder, Cavill Mining Private Ltd, owns Adicorp Enterprises, identified in the recent Hindenburg report as entity allegedly used to “funnel funds between Adani companies to avoid mandatory related party disclosures.”
Russian weapons dominate India’s arsenal but Moscow can no longer deliver, says an article in Foreign Policy. Since Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, the Russian defence industry has been struggling to resupply Moscow’s own forces at the front, which have drawn down weapons and ammunition stocks at a remarkable rate, it says. “Therefore, Russia will almost certainly not be able to satisfy many export demands for the rest of the decade – with profound implications for its most important arms customer – India.”
The Chinese government has announced that it would “standardise” the names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh. In yet another attempt to lay claim to areas inside the Indian territory, it released a list of places and a map that shows part of Arunachal Pradesh as inside what it calls “southern Tibet”. The Chinese ministry of civilian affairs previously published a similar list of 6 locations in 2017 and 15 locations in December 2021. According to PTI, India outrightly rejected the Chinese move on Tuesday and asserted that the state is an integral part of India and that assigning “invented” names does not alter this reality.
According to a UK think-tank report, satellite images have captured a spurt in construction activity on Myanmar's Coco Island. It says Myanmar “may soon be intending to conduct maritime surveillance operations from Great Coco Island, the largest in an isolated archipelago that lies just 55km north of India’s strategic Andaman and Nicobar Islands.”
There is a furore in the US over a secret deal between a US government company and the notorious Israeli company NSO Group, which sells Pegasus. The secret contract was finalised on November 8, 2021 between a company that has acted as a front for the US government and the American affiliate of NSO Group. The deal gave the US government access to one of its most powerful weapons – a geolocation tool that can covertly track mobile phones around the world without the phone user’s knowledge or consent. The timing was extraordinary, as only five days earlier, the Biden administration had announced it was taking action against NSO, whose hacking tools for years had been abused by governments around the world to spy on political dissidents, human rights activists and journalists.
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Sushant Singh writes on the burden that OROP places on the Modi government, multiples of what it owes several other sections of society. Modi had made promises before being elected, but now, it is only after the Supreme Court going after his government that promises are being made to keep the promises.
The Allahabad high court on Monday castigated the Uttar Pradesh government for the “misuse” of anti-cow slaughter law, while granting anticipatory bail to an accused booked under several provisions of the UP Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act. Justice Mohd Faiz Alam Khan said that the investigating authorities did not conduct a fair probe and that the FIR in the case was merely based on “apprehension and suspicion”. He also said a charge sheet was filed even after the police could not recover any prohibited animal or its flesh from the spot, but only cow dung and a rope.
India’s defence exports have increased tenfold in the last six years, according to an analysis by the Mint. However, this is 54% short of the country’s aim to achieve an annual export target of ₹35,000 crore by 2025.
A top RSS leader has now referenced scriptures to describe gay sex as a "practice among rakshasas," asserting that India's dharmashastras "penalise" such sexual behaviour. This comes months after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that homosexuality had been a part of Indian culture. CK Saji Narayanan, ex-BMS chief, has earlier criticised in the Organiser the Supreme Court for its 2018 ruling decriminalising homosexuality.
Puneeth Kerehalli, the main accused in the lynching of a Muslim cow trader in Karnataka, is known to have built his profile over the past few years raking up communal controversies. Turns out, he is the president of a well-known Hindutva group which had earlier been vocal about stopping Muslim vendors from selling wares outside temples.
Himal SouthAsia investigates how in recent years, both the number of attacks in Jammu and the level of militancy in Kashmir have increased. An initiative to arm people from the 1990s has been revived by the Indian government in response to suspected militant attacks in Rajouri's Dhangri hamlet, while local fear continues to galore.
In a thread, a journalist with AltNews investigates how the ruling BJP’s propaganda machinery works. The thread looks at 23 websites hosted on the same IP address and their linked Facebook pages working as pseudo-entities pushing propaganda ads by spending crores of rupees on Facebook attacking non-BJP parties and leaders.
The violence accompanying Ram Navami festivities has for the first time reached Nepal. BBC Hindi reports how saffron-clad people participated in a rally at Janakpur in Nepal and “created ruckus” near a local mosque situated close to a temple. Kashi Dalal, chief district officer of Janakpur, told the new site that the rally was taken out by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
The Guardian reports how Nepali security guards who were safely airlifted from Afghanistan to the UK in August 2021, now face deportation and detention. Some of the former British embassy guards who have now been arrested and detained have been told by the UK government that they will be forcibly removed.
Karnataka and J&K received a TB-free award from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24, 2023. However, a state is not always free of the disease just because it receives a TB-free certificate. FactChecker explains the dichotomy of such grandeur optics.
Savita, an ASHA worker, had to often make multiple visits to rural households to convince people to consume free medicines for filariasis. And yet, most were reluctant to do so. But this year has been surprisingly different, Gaon Connection finds out.
In 1971, the Pakistani army began a brutal crackdown against Bengalis in which hundreds of thousands of women were detained and repeatedly brutalised. Only now are their stories beginning to be told. “We lay like corpses. Then the raping began”: 52 years on, Bangladesh’s rape camp survivors speak out.
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