SC Crafting Monitoring Framework for Manipur; Flight of Personal Capital via LRS May Exceed FDI this Year
Editors Guild opposes press bill, president gets powers over IIMs, LS passes data protection bill, Gaddar dead, priest harassed for saying that Sivaji was not a god, ‘Elephant Whisperers’ raises a din
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
August 7, 2023
Chandrayaan-3 is in translunar orbit and in the latest manoeuvre, it has dropped closer to the moon. will attempt a landing near the lunar south pole, which is not well-explored, on August 23-24. This month, India could become the fourth nation to perform a soft landing on the Moon, after the US, the USSR and China.
The Supreme Court is crafting a monitoring framework for Manipur, to restore trust in state institutions. An all-women committee of three former High Court judges will monitor relief, rehabilitation, compensation and reconciliation in Manipur. Six DIG-level policemen from other states will monitor SITs and the work of the CBI.
Six years after the Supreme Court ruled that privacy is a fundamental right, the Lok Sabha has passed the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill.
His disqualification revoked, Rahul Gandhi is back in the Lok Sabha.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US government has, in the last two months, frozen about a dozen fund transfers worth nearly $26 million made by the offshore firms of Indian jewellers, allegedly for the import of rough diamonds mined in Russia.
As per India Today, 4,947 weapons have been looted from state police armouries in Manipur, 87.4% of which are in the Imphal Valley. Only a small number have been recovered.
Thangkhongam Haokip, chief of the Kuki Independent Army, died in a suspected case of fratricide, the Sangai Express reported on Sunday. An unofficial source told the Imphal daily that his death was not in connection with the ethnic strife.
The Kuki People’s Alliance (KPA), which has two MLAs and is a member of the NDA, yesterday withdrew support to the BJP-led Manipur government. The two KPA MLAs currently in the Manipur Assembly are Kimneo Hangshing and Chinlunthang, representing the Saikul and Singat constituencies. There are eight other Kuki MLAs in the state assembly, all from the BJP. While they criticise the handling of the ethnic violence, they remain in the government.
Newslaundry reports that a mob 1,000 strong ran amok in Manipur University. The Assam Rifles had to step in, and their camp is now home to nearly 500 students and faculty members. The women’s collective resolved to restrict the movement of Assam Rifles, whom they have accused of “brutality during recent agitations,” by blocking roads to press for the withdrawal of the paramilitary force from the violence-hit areas in the state.
Martin Niemoller featured in a blistering speech by Abhishek Manu Singhvi in Parliament, during a debate on converting into law the Delhi ordinance which gives the lieutenant governor the power to overrule the elected chief minister. He called the Centre a “control-freak sarkar”.
The New York Times follows a web of Chinese propaganda to a US tech entrepreneur of South Asian origin. The newspaper says that its outlets include the US think tank Tricontinental and Newslick. They have denied Chinese influence on their operations. In the Lok Sabha, Nishikant Dubey of the BJP went the last mile and citing the NYT report, accused the Congress of ganging up with China. The Congress wants the “libellous” remarks expunged from the record.
Bolmax Pereira, a Catholic priest of St Francis Xavier Church in Chicalim, Goa, was on Friday booked after about 100 people, including members of Bajrang Dal and Rajput Karni Sena, demanded action after he made a statement about Shivaji during a sermon. Pereira had said that Shivaji “was a national hero but not a god”, according to The Indian Express.
In Maharashtra, senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya has said that “we” are ready to kill those who speak against the nation.
Imran Khan was sentenced to three years in the frivolous Toshakhana case of selling state gifts and concealing the proceeds, and is in Attock jail. This could disqualify him from contesting general elections due in November, but polls may be delayed till next year, says Dawn, because unlike in India, Pakistan’s census was completed in good time and by law, voter records have to be updated.
The licensing curbs imposed on the import of PCs and laptops will apply to free trade agreement partners, like, Japan, South Korea, China (under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement) and Singapore (under Asean). The government argues that non-tariff barriers were not negotiated under these FTAs, and India’s curbs are for security reasons. It’s technically correct, but is it a friendly gesture?
Suo motu, the Punjab & Haryana High Court has stopped a demolition drive against allegedly illegal properties after the violence in Nuh. They included a three-storey hotel from which stones had been pelted. In June, the Supreme Court had said that “demolitions can’t be retaliatory”.
The toll on the CRPF in Kashmir has doubled after the abrogation of Article 370.
Following a number of adverse incidents involving Indian drug formulations overseas, the US Food & Drug Administration has rapped Gujarat chemotherapy drugmaker Intas, accusing it of poor processes and for destroying data using vinegar, believe it or not. Other pharma companies it has pulled up include Centaur Pharmaceuticals, Baxter Healthcare and Medgel.
Towards establishing integrated theatre commands, the Lok Sabha has passed the Inter-Services Organisation (Command, Control and Discipline) Bill, 2023, empowering the Commander-in-Chief and Officer-in-Command of Inter-Services Organisations (ISOs) with all disciplinary and administrative powers.
The Editors Guild of India has strong reservations about “draconian provisions” in the Press and Registration of Periodicals Bill, 2023 and has sought its referral to a parliamentary select committee. For instance, while UAPA is used indiscriminately against the press, the bill prevents persons convicted of “terrorist act or unlawful activity” or “for having done anything against the security of the State” from bringing out a periodical. Some provisions are also vague, leaving room for arbitrary State action.
At least 30 people have been killed and up to 90 injured, some of them critically, in a train derailment at Nawabshah in Pakistan’s Sindh province.
The Lok Sabha has taken up for discussion Congress MP Jasbir Singh Gill’s Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure on Special Occasions Bill, 2020. It seeks to cap the big fat Indian wedding at 50 guests from each side and gifts at Rs 2,500, and thus bring down female foeticide. This is not the first such legislation in the House.
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Renowned singer, activist and writer Gaddar – born Gummadi Vittal Rao – passed away in Hyderabad on Sunday, aged 74. His music was a crucial element of the Maoist movement in Telangana and the agitation for statehood since the late 1960s. His songs highlighted state exploitation and marginalisation of oppressed communities, including several songs on extrajudicial killings and police torture. Gaddar was a household name in Telangana.
“Everything will be sorted out in a few days,” Gujarat BJP leader Pradipsinh Vaghela said cryptically of his resignation from the post of state general secretary. Neither he nor his party elaborated, but BJP insiders told The Hindu that his involvement in ‘land-related matters’ and interference in the Gujarat University was behind the sudden step.
Although prohibitory orders meant nothing for a Hindu mahapanchayat in Haryana’s Gurugram, where hundreds of people called for the social and economic boycott of Muslims, they were enforced faithfully by police to prevent a four-member Communist Party of India delegation from visiting violence-hit villages near Nuh.
Manipur and Mizoram have started collecting the biometrics of refugees from Myanmar, on the instructions of the Union Home Ministry.
“If Indian Muslims are not safe, how can we Rohingya be safe?” Sabber Kyaw Min, founder of the India-based Rohingya Human Rights Initiative, told The Wire as immigration officials pick up Nuh district’s Rohingya residents and the Haryana administration bulldozes their shanties. They ask if they would create trouble in a country that has given them asylum.
When cheetahs are reintroduced anywhere, it is not abnormal for a large number of deaths to occur in the first generation, says the BBC, and nine of 10 attempts at cheetah introduction in South Africa failed and more than 200 cheetahs were lost. But the deaths due to radio collars were clearly preventable, and the Indian project at Kuno needs to do better.
For want of numbers, dating has become a daunting affair for Indian Jews who want to keep to the community. They numbered 5,000 in the 2011 census, but the number has fallen sharply in the last decade due to emigration to countries where Jews are more numerous. There are just 10 Baghdadi Jews left in India, a member of the community tells Mid-Day.