ED Cannot be Law Unto Itself, Says Apex Court; Digital India Returns to Licence Raj ― Was this the Only Way?
IB sleuths visit Ashoka U, helpless anger in Gambia about killer Indian medications, Praggnanandhaa to face Magnus Carlsen, Rajini endorses Yogi, Dil Se turns 25, India’s oldest elephant dies
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia and Tanweer Alam | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi and Anirudh SK | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
August 22, 2023
The Enforcement Directorate “cannot be a law unto itself” the Supreme Court has said, warning it against using coercive methods in investigating the alleged liquor scam in Chhattisgarh.
Meanwhile, the Intelligence Bureau has been tasked by its masters to snoop on academics. On Monday, IB officials turned up at Ashoka University full of questions about a recent paper on electoral manipulation authored by an economics professor who has since been forced – ‘by circumstances’ – to resign. Sabyasachi Das’s paper led to howls of protest by BJP leaders and the task at hand for the IB’s sleuths is to establish which set of anti-national forces put him up to the job.
Announcing that it has rejected the National Education Policy, Karnataka’s Congress government said it will launch an expert committee next week to work on a new policy for the state, which is slated to come out next year.
PM Modi has landed in South Africa and his meeting schedule is still being finalised, heightening speculation about a possible bilateral meeting with Xi Jinping of China.
For all the talk about a bilaterals and ‘resolving’ matters with China that India seems near desperate to do, The Telegraph reports that the border talks “go on and on”, and Sushant Singh writes in Foreign Policy that India can’t cut the cord with China, especially because of its deep economic dependency. “Amid a stalemate at the border, it’s clear that Xi Jinping still has the upper hand.”
The United Naga Council, the apex Naga organisation in Manipur, has accused the Kuki-Zo community of distorting the colonial history of the region. It said that the Kukis appear on the scene only in 1830-40 as a “mercenary tribe” useful to the British for crushing the indigenous communities of Manipur. So far, the Nagas have declined to join the ethnic conflict. Earlier this month, the Manipur Police filed cases against the author and editors of two books on the Anglo-Kuki War (1917-1919), one of the biggest uprisings against colonial rule. The Federation of Haomee, which represents Meitei interests, said that there was no Anglo-Kuki War, but only an “armed rebellion”.
Despite the Manipur cabinet recommending that Governor Anusuiya Uikey should convene a session of the Assembly, the House was not open for business on Monday. Last week, 10 Kuki legislators across parties had said that they would not attend because violence continues. It is mandatory for the Assembly to hold a session every six months.
Pakistan has launched a chopper-borne operation to rescue seven schoolchildren and an adult from a cable car left hanging 6,000 feet above a valley in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province after its cables broke. The children use it every day to cross a mountain stream to get to school.
In a case concerning rape on the pretext of marriage, the Gujarat High Court delivered a ruling right after the Supreme Court had ruled on the matter, contradicting the apex court. The Supreme Court took serious exception at the breach of protocol. Hearings of the Gujarat High Court are now streamed live, and therefore cannot be withdrawn, complicating the response.
Late last year, about 70 children in The Gambia died of acute kidney failure after being administered a cough syrup made by Maiden Pharmaceuticals of India, in which the WHO found unacceptable levels of industrial toxins. Their families have sued in The Gambia and are willing to take the matter to Indian and international courts. Meanwhile, the country continues to import Indian drugs because products from Western economies are unaffordable, reports the BBC.
Urban historian and Ahmedabad chronicler Howard Spodek has died at home in Philadelphia. In India, he will be especially remembered for his book, Ahmedabad: Shock City of 20th Century India, on which he began work while he was living in the city in the late 1990s.
Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders, has drawn attention to minority rights defender GN Saibaba, who is seriously disabled and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017, and who has been denied medical bail. A High Court acquittal was set aside by the Supreme Court. In 2020, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had called for his release, due to his deteriorating health. “India’s persistent detention of human rights defender GN Saibaba is an inhumane and senseless act,” the rapporteur now says.
R Praggnanandhaa, 18, has defeated reigning US chess champion Fabiano Caruana to enter the FIDE world championship final match in Baku, where, amma by his side, he will face his familiar opponent Magnus Carlsen.
A farmer aged 70 died allegedly in the course of a lathi charge on protesters marching on Chandigarh to demand compensation for losses due to the recent floods. About 70 people were detained ahead of the protests. They seek compensation of Rs 50,000 per acre for crops lost, Rs 5 lakh for a damaged house, and Rs 10 lakh for a death.
A deputy director in the Woman and Child Development department of the Delhi government and his wife have been arrested for the repeated rape of a minor.
Two studies – one official, one private – paint opposing pictures of the Modi government’s Ujjwala yojana, which is supposed to provide subsidised cooking gas to the poor.
After hitting an all-time low of 83.11 to the dollar, the rupee has recovered somewhat to 82.94.
Rajinikanth has touched the feet of Yogi Adityanath. “For many fans, including those who see Adityanath as representative of all that is anathema to Tamil Nadu politics and culture, this was a ‘betrayal’ by a star whose fans treat him as God. To those who continue to harbour hopes of Rajinikanth making a long-expected political plunge, it was a declaration of his leanings,” says Indian Express.
A tepid response to the annual Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir has led to the pilgrimage dates been severely curtailed.
Bijuli Prasad, 89, has died at the Behali Tea Estate of the Williamson Magor Group in Sonitpur, Assam. He was the oldest elephant recorded in India.
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