Wrestlers Threaten to Throw Their Medals in Ganga; Two Mauritius Firms in Hindenburg Report Were on I-T Radar for Decade
Shah in Manipur, ‘Out of India’ model firmly refuted, kiss story 'China’s smear campaign' against Dalai Lama, HC says AYUSH docs can't do ultrasound, ordinance violates parliamentary federalism
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 30, 2023
Two days after India’s top wrestlers were detained by the Delhi police and had FIRs of rioting slapped against them, the protesting grapplers have said they will throw their Olympic and world championship medals into the Ganga at Haridwar as a way of protesting the high-handedness of the state. The wrestlers, including Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, Tokyo 2020 medallist Bajrang Punia and world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat, said in a statement that they would sit on a fast unto death at New Delhi’s India Gate. The police, however, said they would not be allowed to protest at that site.
A retired DGP whose Twitter profile says “Firing on all barrels to secure justice for the Hindus” suggested on Sunday night that the Delhi police would be entitled to fire on the protesting wrestlers if necessary. “Will even shoot if necessary. … Right now, they have just been dragged and thrown away like sacks of garbage. Article 129 gives the police the right to shoot. Under proper circumstances that wish will also be fulfilled. … See you again on the post-mortem table!” former Kerala police chief NC Asthana tweeted in Hindi, apparently in response to Bajrang Punia’s reported comment of “shoot us” during Sunday’s police action on wrestlers. On Monday morning, Punia dared Asthana to shoot him. The Indian Police Foundation, a Delhi-based think-tank, condemned Asthana’s comment. The tweet seems to have been taken off after a lot of users reported it to Twitter.
Union home minister Amit Shah, currently on a four-day visit to the violence-hit state of Manipur, began consultations with stakeholders on Tuesday over breakfast with a group of women leaders. He also held a meeting with civil society organisations. Ethnic clashes in the state started on May 3. There was a sudden spurt in clashes and firing between militants and security forces on Sunday, after a relative lull for over a fortnight. The death toll from clashes has gone up to 80, officials said. There were also reports of looting of 1,000-odd weapons along with ammunition from the armouries of Manipur Rifles and India Reserve Battalion.
Meitei and Kuki militants are locked in a war-like situation in the state and have sought to draw their wider communities into the conflict. Meiteis are predominantly Hindus while Kukis are Christians. Over the last few days, The Wire’s reporters could see pitched gun battles starting in villages from late noon or evening. Many times, the sounds of the shots could be heard even while travelling on highways, reports Banjot Kaur. On Sunday, Yaqut Ali visited Churachandpur, the district where at least 13 people had been killed in mob violence that lasted for two days. People belonging to the Meitei community told the reporter that they wanted the Indian Army to be sent back from their area.
Meanwhile, two fathers, whose daughters were killed in Imphal, expressed their wish to get the bodies of their beloved daughters so that they could bury them.
Twenty-year-old Sahil Khan, who has been accused of killing his 16-year-old girlfriend by stabbing her and assaulting her with a concrete slab, was upset with the minor because she wanted to end the relationship, Delhi police sources told the Indian Express. Khan, who was arrested from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr on Monday evening and brought to Delhi, was produced at the Rohini court in Delhi on Tuesday and sent to police custody for two days. Predictably, the BJP in Delhi sees this not as as evidence of growing crime in the capital but of ‘love jihad’, as the girl was Hindu.
Yet another attempt to bestow historical authenticity and glory on the golden “sengol” (sceptre) that Prime Minister Narendra Modi installed in the new parliament building on Sunday has fallen flat. It turns out that a photoshopped version of an advertisement from a 1947 page of the Hindu was being circulated as proof that the ‘historic event’ was reported on the front page of the national newspaper.
At least two Mauritius firms that invested in the Adani Group and found mention in the Hindenburg report were on the radar of Indian tax authorities for over a decade. As SEBI got another three months from the Supreme Court earlier this month to complete its probe, records accessed by the Indian Express during the 2017 Paradise Papers investigation show that Mavi Investment Fund Ltd (now APMS Investment Fund Ltd) had received a notice from the Mauritius Revenue Authority in September 2012. This notice was to share information, and for onward transmission to the Indian tax authorities under the Direct Tax Avoidance Agreement.
Another company, Lotus Global Investment Limited, which started investing in Adani Group companies in 2005, received a similar notice from the MRA in July 2014 to share “information … for onward transmission to the Indian Tax Authorities”. These documents were part of offshore legal firm Appleby’s internal records. In August 2010, records show, Appleby billed Monterosa – a company Hindenburg said is close to Adani – for amending and recording fund documents related to Lotus, Mavi, Cresta, among others, “so that there is only one common portfolio of assets for the SEBI declaration/undertaking.”
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Was the Dalai Lama snookered by a Beijing-inspired smear campaign in April to portray him as sexually deviant? Magnus Fiskejo makes this claim in the Diplomat, arguing that China succeeded beyond its wildest dreams by playing into western ignorance about Tibetan culture – and a self-righteous “cancel culture” on social media.
Neither the judiciary nor the executive or legislature is supreme, and what is actually supreme is the Constitution of India, Justice BV Nagarathna of the Supreme Court said on Monday. Speaking at a book launch, she said: “Independence of judiciary is one of the most cherished ideals of the Constitution. We the judges value it the most.”
A criminal case filed by a woman accusing her husband and in-laws of cruelty loses its significance if lodged after a divorce notice from the husband, the Karnataka high court has said.
The Madras high court has ruled that only a doctor having specialised qualifications as specified under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994 can perform ultra sonogram and other ultrasound techniques on pregnant women. The court said AYUSH doctors can’t perform these techniques on pregnant women without specialised qualification under PC-PNDT Act.
Tony Joseph, author of Early Indians, says the “Out of India” model, which claims that people from India who migrated to Europe in ancient times, carried with them the Sanskrit language, from which the Indo-European languages were born, has been firmly refuted. He cites two paragraphs from the introduction to The Indo-European Puzzle Revisited, edited by well-known academics Kristiansen, Kroonen and Willerslev, and released this month, with 22 papers and 41 distinguished authors:
“Here we should mention the rise of an ‘Out of India’ model of Indo-European languages during the last generation, motivated primarily by Hindu nationalism. These are the same kind of forces that used the model of Gustaf Kossinna to support a Nazi racist ideology nearly one hundred years earlier. However, the Out of India model has been firmly refuted by recent aDNA [ancient DNA] results (Narasimhan et al. 2019), and it has little or no support in historical linguistic research (cf. Witzel 2012). However, it should serve as a warning example of the political impact of nationalism, even in the present (cf. also Schnirelman 2001).
“The most obvious risks of ideological misrepresentation occur when such forces infiltrate the academic environment, as happened in Germany during the Nazi regime. But the risk of such abuse will likely only increase if relevant evidence is ignored rather than welcomed.”
Foreign investments into the Indian startup ecosystem have fallen by 72% in 2023 so far, even as the environment for these businesses has become challenging amid rising interest rates and global economic conditions, the Business Standard reports. Investment by Tiger Global and Accel has fallen by 97% in 2023 so far, compared with the same period last year, the newspaper said, citing data from Tracxn, a market intelligence platform. Sequoia is down 95%, Y Combinator 87%, and SoftBank 80%, it added.
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