Leicester Polarisation Spreads To Birmingham, MP Seeks London’s Intervention; RK Laxman: Uncommon Man Of An Uncommon Time
Bilkis case witness threatened, Ladakh herders confirm territory lost, Gehlot & Tharoor contenders for Cong president, 1 lakh Sikhs vote in Canada Khalistan referendum, ‘Chhello Show’ for Oscars
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Snapshot of the day
September 21, 2022
“We’ll beat you black and blue,” convict Radheshyam Shah allegedly told Imtiaz Ghanchi, a witness in the gruesome Bilkis case, which involved gang-rape and murder, including that of a three-year old girl in the Gujarat violence of 2002. The witness has written to Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, fearing a threat to his life. The convict apparently also told the witness: “We’re out now. It’s time for you people to run away.”
Wealth inequality in India is worse than ever. The Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report released yesterday showed that India’s Gini coefficient, which measures inequality, hit a peak of 82.3 in 2020 and held at the end of 2021, much higher than China’s 70.1 (0 signifies perfect equality and 100, perfect inequality). India’s Gini coefficient increased from 74.7 in 2000 to 82.3 in 2021. India added 107,000 millionaires in 2021 and accounted for at least 1% of total global millionaires.
Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar has said that by leveraging anti-piracy operations, China has increased and normalised its presence in the Indian Ocean region. On India’s experience with Russian equipment, Admiral Hari Kumar said they are reliable and while there have been teething troubles, “we have really been receiving good support from Russia over the years.” Besides, Russia has provided technologies which could not be sourced from elsewhere.
Konchok Stobgais, the traditional head or nambardaar of Phobrang village, 60 km from PP-17 in Ladakh, told The Hindu that with every disengagement process, the Army climbed down further, ceding space to China and creating new buffer zones. He also said that the Army had turned away graziers from land at Ani La, Thadang Valley and Naglungpa in the past two years. Stobgais said graziers have lost access to around 41 km of Kugrang Valley. “Several government agencies have contacted me asking for land records; we do not possess them but that does not mean this land is not ours. Our elders have lived here for ages, they have memories. China is forcefully claiming our territory, the loss is ours,” he said. The Army did not respond to a request for comment on his claims.
Referring to Depsang and Demchok without naming them, Army chief General Manoj Pande said on Tuesday spoke of two friction points at the LAC in eastern Ladakh. At an event organised by Bharat Shakti, he said: “I am sure we will be able to find resolution towards these two friction points. That is our immediate aim to disengage from these friction points before we look at the next step of de-escalation, which will involve pullback by troops and tanks.” He said the lessons learnt were to maintain a high level of operational preparedness and the importance of infrastructure development.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday raked up the Kashmir issue during his address to world leaders at the high-level UN General Assembly session. “We hope and pray that a fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir,” he said.
A London journalist whose work focuses on Muslims reports that the communal polarisation seen in Leicester has spread to Birmingham, where hundreds of Muslims demonstrated against a Hindu institution which platforming voluble blast from the past Sadhvi Ritambhara, whom it refers to as “Param Pujya Didimaaji”. The Babri generation has achieved granny-dom, but their energy is undiminished.
Violent clashes between groups of mainly Hindu and Muslim young men will spread beyond Leicester to other towns and cities if London does not intervene, warned MP Claudia Webbe of Leicester East, the constituency at the centre of several incidents over the past month. She said ministers need to clamp down on “extremist rightwing ideology” and misinformation being spread through social media.
Months after being reinstated in the IAS, Shah Faesal has withdrawn his plea in the Supreme Court challenging the reading down of Article 370. He has been appointed Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Culture.
Two articles in overseas media have highlighted the maltreatment of the press and absence of basic freedoms in Jammy & Kashmir, which is administered by Delhi. The Christian Science Monitor speaks of “Press freedom, democracy, and Fahad Shah” and the Committee to Protect Journalists says that arbitrary travel bans make the Union Territory an open-air prison for journalists.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will be a contender for the post of Congress president, if Rahul Gandhi does not contest on October 17, and will be up against Shashi Tharoor. The Gandhi family will remain neutral and not endorse any candidate.
In the latest in the series of flip-flops on the export of foodgrains, the Union government allowed the export of broken rice that was in transit till September 30. India had banned exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on exports of various other types on September 8, over food security concerns.
India slipped seven places to 78 in the global ranking for fixed broadband download speeds by speed tracker Ookla, with median download speeds of 48.29 Mbps between July and August much lower than the global average of 69.14 Mbps. India ranks 117th with download speeds of 13.52 Mbps while the global average is 30.79Mbps.
Students and youth activists of the Left Opposition flooded the streets of Kolkata yesterday, protesting against corruption and misrule of the TMC and the refusal to apprehend the murderers of student activist-leader Anis Khan. (Also see Reportedly)
Karnataka BJP legislator AH Vishwanath has his ruling party red-faced ― he has questioned the anti-conversion bill in Karnataka, which is more draconian than the one in force in Gujarat. He says he is more worried about caste discrimination, because he thinks there are no forced conversions.
According to an analysis of kidnapping complaints data, the number of runaway girls in India is rising. Of 6,071 minors, 70% girls stated to have been kidnapped had left home of their own volition, and numbers have been increasing.
Athletes at a state-level kabaddi tournament in Saharanpur, UP, were allegedly served food stored on the floor of a men’s toilet. A video of the September 16 incident showed the athletes who took part in the sub-junior girls’ kabaddi tournament at the Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Stadium being served rice and poori that had been kept in the toilet.
The oldest case pending before a Constitution bench may finally be taken to conclusion, with the Supreme Court fixing a date to examine excommunication in the Dawoodi Bohra community. A five-judge bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul set the 1986 case for final hearing on October 11, asking all the parties to file written submissions on whether this can continue as a “protected practice”. The matter was last listed in 2005.
Farmers’ rights activists tell IndiaSpend that the PepsiCo India court case, concerning its registration of a potato variety used to make its Lay’s potato chips, shows how companies register plant varieties and use coercive tactics against farmers to protect their interests.
Retail inflation for farm and rural workers rose further in August as food prices stayed high. The All-India Consumer Price Index Number for Agricultural Labourers (CPIAL) increased to 6.94% and for Rural Labourers (CPIRL) 7.26% in August, compared with 6.6% and 6.82% in July. It was 3.9% and 3.97% in August 2021.
SpiceJet has sent about 80 pilots on leave without pay for three months to cut losses which have mounted for the past four years. It is operating less than 50% flights, following a July 27 order of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the wake of mishaps.
Over 100,000 Canadian Sikhs voted in the Khalistan Referendum organised by pro-Khalistani group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) ― banned in India in 2019 ― the day before yesterday in Brampton, Ontario. The Indian government had warned the Canadian government against the anti-India forces growing in that country, but it refused to prevent them from expressing their views. It said the referendum was legal and democratic.
Months before the soccer World Cup starts, migrant labourers at Qatar’s stadiums face poor living conditions and claim they still pay illegal fees and cannot change jobs, says a report in The Guardian. The workers are mostly from India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Comedy actor Raju Srivastava died today, after lingering 41 days in hospital.
Yesterday, BJP MLA Suresh Singh Rawat brought a cow from Pushkar to the Rajasthan Assembly to protest about lumpy skin disease. The protagonist exited stage left as the curtain went up.
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