Violent Protests Continue in Pakistan Following Imran Khan’s Arrest; Mary Kom Panel Was ‘Biased Towards the Accused”: Wrestlers’ FIR
Five factors to decide Karnataka results, for top ex-PMO man, new India also about ‘temple pride’, RS MP says 42 churches burnt in Manipur, Adani project favours family, rowdies aid BJP in K'taka poll
A newsletter from The Wire | Founded by MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sushant Singh, Sidharth Bhatia, Tanweer Alam and Pratik Kanjilal | With inputs from Kalrav Joshi | Editor: Vinay Pandey
Snapshot of the day
May 10, 2023
Violent protests erupted in several cities of Pakistan after the arrest of former prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday in connection with a corruption case. The country’s anti-corruption watchdog accuses Khan and his wife of taking prime land and billions of rupees as quid pro quo for legalising the vast sums of money identified and returned to the country by the UK some years ago. In unprecedented scenes, supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party stormed the Pakistani army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi and the corps commander’s residence in Lahore. You can track the latest developments on Dawn’s live blog.
One of the protestors appears to have stolen a peacock from the Lahore corps commander’s house. He says this is public money stolen by the commander.
The Mary Kom committee, set up by the Union government to probe the allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was “partial and biased towards the accused” and tried to “justify [his] actions”, the complainants have alleged, reports the Economic Times. Video recordings of the testimonies made before the committee may also have been “tampered” with to “protect the accused”, almost all seven of the wrestlers, including the minor, have alleged in their FIR against Singh, the newspaper has “gathered”. The committee’s report is yet to be made public.
Nripendra Misra, chairman of the construction committee of the Ram Janmabhoomi trust, was once principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and thus the most powerful bureaucrat in the country. In an interview with the Indian Express, he hails the Supreme Court’s controversial judgment on Ayodhya and its implications, and holds forth on his role and the timeline for the making of the temple. He says: “Our youth are very sensitive to the call that India must become a big power … I think we have to inject this … the temple as one more reason for being proud.” That is New India for you.
The ownership structure of the Carmichael rail project in Australia continues to raise concerns about how much information Adani Group discloses to the public about its relationship with Adani family entities, including those run by Vinod Adani. “The Adani family gets a disproportionate share of the upside of a strategic asset now that it is built and operational in 2023, and meanwhile gets a 10% annual coupon. They win both ways; the risk is almost all borne by AEL, the upside to AEL is halved,” reports the Morning Context. In business jargon, "upside" refers to the potential increase in the value of an investment. AEL is Adani Enterprises Ltd.
Meanwhile, the six-member expert committee set up by the Supreme Court following the publication of the Hindenburg report on Adani Group has submitted a report in a sealed cover to the top court on May 8, reports the Economic Times. It is not known whether the committee has completed its investigation into all the issues underlined by the court in its March 2 order, or whether, like SEBI, it has also sought further time to conclude its findings. The matter is to come up before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Friday.
K Vanlalvena, Rajya Sabha member from Mizoram, on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Modi seeking a JPC probe into the recent ethnic violence in neighbouring Manipur. The MP alleged that more than 42 churches, including 6 belonging to Meitei Christians, were burnt down besides houses, shops and vehicles belonging to the (mostly Kuki) tribal community during the mob violence. The official death toll is 60, with 231 injured and 1700 homes burnt, including places of worship. However, as Manipur burnt, ordinary people stood between attacking mobs and their neighbours. There have been several accounts of people from both Meitei and Kuki communities coming to each other’s rescue, sometimes putting their own lives at risk, reports Rokibuz Zaman.
Even as the law and order situation in Manipur continues to improve, hundreds of people have begun settling into relief camps watched over by the security forces. Many Kukis who abandoned their homes in the Meitei-dominated Imphal valley, according to army sources who spoke to the Deccan Herald, have taken sanctuary in relief camps established in Kuki-dominated districts like Churachandpur. On Monday, CM Biren Singh said that miscreants had snatched a total of 1041 weapons and 7460 ammunition from the security forces. This level of snatching of arms from the security forces is unheard of.
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Arab trains with Indian goods travelling to Israeli ports and from there to markets in Europe – that was how Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen presented a new regional connectivity plan unfolding in West Asia to the India-Israel Business Forum organised by the CII in New Delhi on Tuesday. Cohen’s statement came just two days after India’s national security adviser Ajit Doval travelled to Riyadh to discuss this project with his US and Emirati counterparts, and Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. On a visit cut short by the developing security situation in Israel, Cohen met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and foreign minister S Jaishankar.
Fitch Ratings has lowered its 2023-24 GDP growth forecast for India to 6% from 6.2%, citing headwinds from elevated inflation and interest rates along with subdued global demand; it said the economy is expected to rebound to 6.7% in 2024-25 as opposed to 6.9% projected earlier. The rating agency has kept India’s credit rating unchanged at “BBB-” (Triple B Minus) – the lowest investment grade rating – since August 2006.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Bilkis Bano and other petitioners, who have challenged the premature release of 11 convicts in the case of gang rape of Bilkis and murder of her family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots, to take steps to serve the notice of the hearing upon the convicts who are yet to receive it and to also publish a public notice in a Gujarati and an English newspaper. A bench of Justices KM Joseph, BV Nagarathna and Ahsanuddin Amanullah deferred the hearing till July 11.
A senior scientist with the DRDO has been accused of being a spy for Pakistan. Pradeep Kurulkar, who has been associated with the DRDO for over two decades, was allegedly passing on sensitive information to the Pakistani intelligence agency, ISI. Kurulkar is also a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
The attacks on members of the Christian community have increased after 2021 and they coincide with the enactments of anti-conversion laws in several states, petitioners told the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Live Law reported. Anti-conversion laws have been enacted by BJP governments in nine states including Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The laws require prior permission for religious conversions for marriage. The apex court is hearing pleas filed by Bengaluru archbishop Peter Machado, the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India alleging an increase in attacks on Christians in India.
A face mask can be used as a non-invasive device to check your health, researchers at the Hyderabad campus of BITS Pilani have successfully demonstrated. According to the Hindu, they have designed and developed a kirigami-based stretchable, flexible laser induced graphene (LIG) – a 3D carbon nanomaterial – for real-time attachments with surgical masks. LIG is a widely used material for monitoring vital signs like breath rate, body temperature, pulse rate and blood oxygen saturation. Monitoring breath rate is considered as a parameter to detect diseases like cardiac arrest, asthma, pneumonia, pulmonary edema and covid-19. Kirigami is a 3D variant of origami, the Japanese art of folding paper.
In the dense forests of south India’s Western Ghats, you may be lucky enough to spot a greater racket-tailed drongo crooning to birds of other species nearby. But the drongo is not singing. It is mimicking the other birds, according to ethno-ornithologist Samira Agnihotri. Scientists like Agnihotri are learning the secrets of the drongo and other creatures in a jungle from the people who have always lived there, reports the Guardian.
“Listen, I'm not sure if you saw this in the news, but something absolutely mental happened a couple of weeks ago in Bengaluru. Sit down and read on.” An interesting Twitter thread about ‘rowdies’ like Silent Sunil, Fighter Ravi and "Bhuss" Naaga and the BJP’s election campaign in Karnataka. The state is voting today and the results will be out on May 13.
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