Green Adani Stocks Bankrolling Carmichael Mine; Teflon Leaders Have Come Before ― And Gone
The shadowy elder Adani, central data debunks Gujarat’s agri success story, Tamil Nadu moves against NEET in SC, sycophantic media baron outdoes Modi on GDP claim, Victoria Memorial makes Clive vanish
A newsletter from The Wire & Galileo Ideas | Contributors: MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, Sushant Singh and Tanweer Alam | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
February 20, 2023
The BBC will continue to do its journalism in India without fear or favour, said its India editor Rupa Jha in a tweet. A news item by BBC Hindi said, “BBC journalists were not allowed to work for several hours during this period. Many journalists were also abused by Income Tax Department employees and policemen. Journalists’ computers were scanned, their phones were kept and they were asked about their working methods. Also, journalists working in the Delhi office were prevented from writing anything about this survey. Hindi and English journalists were prevented from working for a longer period of time even when they were allowed to resume work after repeated requests from senior editors. Journalists in both these languages were allowed to work in this way when they were nearing broadcast time.”
Vinod Adani, the elusive low-profile elder brother of embattled tycoon Gautam Adani, had a central role in expanding Adani Group firms, with an alleged web of companies in various offshore territories that have apparently not been disclosed to regulatory authorities, Forbes reports. Forbes wrote about the previously undisclosed role of Singapore-based Pinnacle Trade and Investment Pte Ltd, which was “indirectly controlled” by Vinod Adani, in allegedly pledging Adani Group promoter stocks for a loan from Russia’s VTB Bank. This meant that Pinnacle’s loan from the Russian bank was “secured, effectively, by the value of the funds’ Adani company shares … Neither fund has disclosed share pledges in Indian financial filings for the four Adani companies they’re invested in.”
Adani is using stock from its green companies as collateral in a credit facility that’s helping to finance the Carmichael coal mine in Australia, via Adani Enterprises Ltd. This caused Norway’s largest pension fund, KLP, to recently dump its entire holding of shares in Adani Green Energy Ltd, reports Bloomberg. “Financing arrangements across the Adani Group conglomerate have sent a fresh chill through ESG markets,” says the report, “ as investors realise their green dollars were indirectly supporting the dirtiest of fossil fuels.” More than 500 funds registered in the European Union as “promoting” ESG goals hold Adani stocks, either directly or indirectly, according to Bloomberg. Norway’s KLP, which manages around 765 billion Norwegian kroner ($75 billion), exited its position in Adani Green on January 30, the sixth Adani company to be dropped.
The preliminary investigation by the Rajasthan Police into the murder of two Muslim men, whose remains were found inside a charred vehicle in Haryana’s Bhiwani district on Thursday, points at cow vigilantism as the motive for the crime, senior police officers said on Saturday. The accused Rinku Saini confirmed that a cow vigilante group had picked up Junaid (35) and Nasir (27) in a Mahindra Bolero, while denying his own involvement. Another official added that Rinku also alleged that after brutally assaulting the victims, the group took them to Firozpur Jhirka Police Station in Haryana, but officials refused to keep them. The Haryana Police, however, had earlier denied the claim.
In stating its refusal to serve “doubtful citizenship/illegal immigrants”, a little-known restaurant in Guwahati has tried to transform itself into an NRC authority, though they told Times Now that they won’t be checking documents of customers and that the key idea was to just “give a message” and make their “intentions clear”. There has been no action against Kharoli Restaurant for discrimination.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is the latest to criticise the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind for its decision to hold talks with the RSS in New Delhi. In a Facebook post yesterday, Vijayan said the JIH’s claim that it represents minorities is false. JIH’s General Secretary T Arif Ali recently revealed that the talks had “focused on mob lynching and suppression of the marginalised sections,” according to The Hindu. “Jamaat-e-Islami’s argument that there is a need for dialogue and discussion beyond disagreements with the group reveals their hypocrisy. The Jamaat-e-Islami leadership should clarify what was discussed with the RSS.” Vijayan wrote.
A daily wage earner who had accused police of brutally torturing him after falsely accusing him in a chain-snatching case died at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on Thursday. On Saturday, the police promised an investigation and disciplinary action. Mohammed Khadir, 35, was reportedly picked up by Medak Town police at Yakutpura in Hyderabad on January 29, a suspect in two theft cases. Khadir claimed he was released on February 2. On February 9, he was admitted to a hospital in Medak. On February 12, as his condition worsened, he was moved to the state-run Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad. Doctors there told him that his kidneys were damaged. During his time at the Gandhi Hospital, Khadir issued a video statement on what he allegedly went through in custody.
India’s only operational aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is expected to come out of a 15-month major refit at Karwar Naval Base and set sail next week. Extensive sea trials will follow in March. The 45,000 ton carrier will be handed over to the Indian Navy by March 31 and MiG-29K fighter operations will start in April 2023. The ship was sent for overhaul in December 2021 and there was a major delay due to a fire accident.
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Ahead of the Char Dham pilgrimage scheduled to begin in April, new cracks have been spotted on the Badrinath National Highway in Joshimath, where damage to buildings forced the relocation of hundreds of families. Last month, too, cracks of 1-2 metres in the same highway were reported. Authorities said that the cracks weren’t “a cause of concern”.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday called billionaire investor George Soros “old, rich, opinionated and dangerous” for his comments on links between beleaguered businessman Gautam Adani and PM Modi. The Hungarian-American investor had said that India is a democracy but its leader “is no democrat”. Siddharth Varadarajan writes about another man who was “old” and “opinionated” when he lambasted the “asura rulers’ of Gujarat for the 2002 riots: “In 2002, there must have been a minister or two who thought K Subrahmanyam, who was well over 70 at the time, had been “vicious” in calling a leader who had been democratically chosen an “asura”. They wisely chose silence.”
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