Months Before Crash, Railways Knew Signals Protocol Was Short-Circuited; India Agrees to Buy 30 US Military Drones for $3 Billion
Sena ad signals ‘double engine’ trouble, Kuki BJP minister’s home torched, Al Jazeera documentary held back, new Gujarat bridge collapses, train derails in AP, aged women mainly maltreated by sons
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 | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
June 15, 2023
The official residence of Manipur Industries Minister Nemcha Kipgen in Imphal West district was burned down by attackers yesterday evening as ethnic violence involving the Meitei and Kuki-Zo communities continues. Elected last year, Kipgen is the only woman in N Biren Singh’s 12-member cabinet, and also served in his first government, which took office in 2017. She is one of 10 Kuki MLAs affiliated with the BJP who have raised the demand for a separate administration.
On Tuesday night, at least nine men were killed in the district. While the village of Aigijang, where the killings took place, is Kuki, the bodies recovered are of Meitei. Several houses were burned down in Khamenlok village and several people were injured in Gobajang, Tamenglong district, India Today reports. The Hindu reports that the men killed were part of a large mob that had been targeting Kuki villages for the past three days and quotes officials as saying they were likely shot dead by Kuki village guards. The Central Armed Police Forces in Manipur seek more equipment to deal with “any unforeseen situation”. The Hills Journal reports that civil society organisations which constitute the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) have appealed to Indian security forces to move against “narco-terrorist” organisations trying to re-establish the cross-border drug trade with Myanmar.
Meanwhile, the government is busy preparing for the Prime Minister’s state visit to the US. The Biden administration is pushing New Delhi to “cut through its own red tape” for a contract for dozens of General Atomics SeaGuardian armed drones. On the Indian side, the Defence Acquisition Council has greenlighted the purchase.
CNN has now taken note of how a mural in the new Parliament is incensing India’s neighbours, since it revives the RSS project of ‘Akhand Bharat’ (undivided India), which is at once atavistic and neo-imperialist.
On the plea of a “a public-spirited person and a social activist”, the Allahabad High Court has restrained Al Jazeera from airing the documentary India… Who Lit the Fuse? The complainant has “reliably learnt” from print and social media reports that the film portrays the “Muslim minority of [India] living with a sense of fear and presents a disruptive narrative creating a sense of public hatred, which is far from reality.” The petitioner claims that the film “negatively portrays” the political functionaries of the Indian state and projects them as acting detrimental to the interest of minorities. As usual, the actual content of the film is unexamined.
The Delhi Police on Thursday filed a chargesheet in the sexual harassment case against outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. They also recommended the cancellation of a POCSO case against him, which was brought by the father of a minor wrestler, who later recorded a fresh statement withdrawing her charges.
Once again, Ukraine has asked India to help implement key points of the peace plan mooted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which has been rejected by Moscow. On Tuesday Andriy Yermak, who heads the Office of the President of Ukraine, spoke with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, just over three weeks after Zelenskyy met with PM Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit. While there was no statement from India, the Ukrainian readout of the phone conversation says that the “main topic” was the “implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, in particular, the consolidation of international support for the Ukrainian peace plan and the possibility of India joining the implementation of its individual points”.
The Indian Railways remain off-track. On Tuesday, a goods train derailed between Thadi and Anakapalle stations in Andhra Pradesh’s Anakapalli district, affecting traffic on the Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada route. South Central Railway cancelled at least six trains and rescheduled a couple more following the incident.
A new bridge awaiting inauguration in south Gujarat has collapsed, reports Deccan Herald.
The India Cable is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
The severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy is expected to make landfall by 9 pm tonight on the coast of Kutch and Saurashtra, with wind speeds of 115-125 kmph. Close to 1 lakh people have been relocated to temporary shelters. However, some comic relief was provided by the antics of this TV anchor
Following the lead of Suhas Palshikar and Yogendra Yadav, 33 academics want their names withdrawn from the school textbooks ‘rationalised’ and downsized by NCERT. They include Kanti Bajpai, Rajeev Bhargava and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
The Wular and Dal lakes in the Kashmir Valley are remnants of a much larger ancient lake. Though they are among the biggest in India, they have been shrinking recently.
Kontham Tejaswini Reddy, 27, of Hyderabad, who was studying for a master’s degree in London, was stabbed to death at her residence in Wembley. The assailant also attacked her friend Akhila, who suffered stab injuries, and is being treated at a north London hospital.
Newspaper advertisements taken out by the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena indicate that the boiler of the ‘double engine’ government running Maharashtra is fit to burst. Headlined “Modi for India, Shinde for Maharashtra”, they obviously refer to the campaign slogan “Kendrat Narendra, rajyat Devendra” ― Modi at the Centre and Fadnavis in the state. The impatience with Devendra Fadnavis, who apparently plays second fiddle in the government but actually calls the shots, is palpable.
The 22nd Law Commission of India is again seeking public opinion on the desirability of a Uniform Civil Code, an enduring project of the BJP. Its predecessor, the 21st Law Commission, had said that it was neither necessary nor desirable.
The Indian Express reports that the brother of former UP chief minister Mayawati and his wife were allotted 261 apartments in the Noida property Blossom Greens, developed by real estate firm Logix Infratech, in a “fraudulent” manner. The couple were instrumental in getting land allotted to the developer, when Mayawati was in office.
The National Investigation Agency has identified eight persons who were prominent in a pro-Khalistan attempt to vandalise the Indian High Commission in London on March 19, and had pulled down the national flag there, the day after the Punjab Police launched a crackdown against the followers of radical preacher Amritpal Singh. The NIA had questioned the Waris Punjab De chief and nine associates in Assam’s Dibrugarh jail after learning that they were routinely in touch with Avtar Singh Khanda, who was identified during the attack on the High Commission by an employee. During subsequent investigations in London, eight attackers were identified.
Serial rabble-rouser Suresh Chavhanke, who runs Sudarshan TV, is using Twitter to instigate public action to oust Muslims from Uttarakhand.