BJP attacks Hamid Ansari, India denies evacuating village in Sikkim: Top stories to bring you up to date
BJP attacks Hamid Ansari on his last day in office as vice president, India denies evacuating village in Sikkim, J-K BJP blames Article 370 of the Constitution for creation of a “separatist emotion”, Nawaz Sharif criticises Pakistan’s judiciary for his ouster: Here is a list of top stories to bring you up to dateindia Updated: Aug 11, 2017 07:29 IST
On his last day in office, BJP attacks Hamid Ansari for ‘minorities insecure’ remark
India’s next vice president Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday dismissed allegations of insecurity among Muslims as a political propaganda, a day after his predecessor Hamid Ansari flagged a “growing unease” among the country’s minority community. Though Naidu did not name anyone, his comments are being seen as a response to Ansari, who told a government-run TV channel on Thursday that insecurity was creeping in among Muslims in India and that there was a breakdown of Indian values. “Some people are saying minorities are insecure. It is a political propaganda. Compared to the entire world, minorities are more safe and secure in India and they get their due,” Naidu said. In his parting interview to Rajya Sabha TV, Ansari pointed out alleged failure of law enforcing agencies, seen as a reference to growing incidents of mob lynchings over cow smuggling. Read the story here.
PM Modi says Hamid Ansari free to pursue core thinking from now on
A day after outgoing vice president Hamid Ansari said Muslims were feeling insecure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday he (Ansari) will be free to pursue his “core thinking” once he demits office. In his remarks in the Rajya Sabha, where Ansari was given a farewell on his last day in office, Modi hailed his role in the past 10 years and said Ansari had tried his best to live up to it. The Prime Minister referred to the 100 years of public life of Ansari’s forefathers and said they were aligned with the Congress and Khilafat Movement. Modi recalled Ansari’s diplomatic career during which he spent many years in West Asia and his role on retirement as the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and as the Chairman of Minorities Commission. Read the story here.
India has ordered evacuation of frontier Sikkim village: Chinese media
The army has ordered evacuation of a frontier Sikkim village near the site of a tense India-China border standoff, the People’s Daily newspaper said on Thursday. The Indian military refused comments on the report by Communist Party of China’s mouthpiece. But army sources denied any evacuation or plans for such an action in Sikkim. The People’s Daily tweeted: “Indian troops on Thu orders evacuation of Nathang village, near site of two-month standoff between #Chinese and #Indian armies.” Read the story here.
Is Taj Mahal a mausoleum or a Shiva temple? CIC asks govt to clarify
The Central Information Commission has directed the Union culture ministry to clarify its stand on whether the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built by Shahjahan or a Shiva temple gifted to the Mughal emperor by a Rajput king. The question, forwarded as an alternative narrative of history by some claiming to be historians and the subject of various court cases, reached the CIC through an RTI plea and is now at the culture ministry’s door. In a recent order, Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said the ministry should put to rest the controversy and clarify doubts about the history of the white marbled mausoleum, considered one of the wonders of the world. Read the story here.
Article 370 created separatist psyche, time to say goodbye to it: J-K BJP
Blaming Article 370 of the Constitution for creation of a “separatist emotion”, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP said on Thursday that the time has come for the people of the state to say goodbye to it and also Article 35 A. Both these articles, instead of being beneficial to the people of the state, have done a great damage and hamper progress and development, claimed J-K BJP spokesperson Virender Gupta. “The time has come when the people of Jammu and Kashmir should say goodbye to Article 370 and ask the Government of India to revoke Article 35 A,” he said. Read the story here.
Govt may miss December 2020 deadline to clean Ganga river, says parliamentary panel
A parliamentary panel on Thursday expressed apprehension that due to slow pace of work, the government may miss the deadline of making river Ganga clean by 2020. The Standing Committee on Water Resources, in its Demand for Grants (2017-18) for Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, asked the ministry to fast track the projects to ensure expeditious cleaning of the river. The committee, in the report tabled in Parliament on Thursday, noted “with utmost concern” that so far only four sewage treatment plant (STP) projects -- two at Haridwar, one each at Varanasi and Mathura -- have been taken up. Read the story here.
Jagan Mohan Reddy calls for Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu to be publicly hanged
After kicking up a controversy last week by asking people to shoot Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on the streets for “failing to fulfil pre-election promises”, YSR Congress party president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday triggered yet another uproar by calling for hanging Naidu in public. “What is wrong in asking for Naidu’s hanging for cheating the public with false promises?” Jagan asked, while addressing a series of road shows in Nandyal in Kurnool district, where by-elections are scheduled to be held on August 23. Read the story here.
Superstars joining politics? Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan attend DMK event in Chennai
Two reigning superstars of Tamil cinema – Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan – on Thursday attended 75th anniversary celebrations of DMK’s mouth piece Murasoli in Chennai on Thursday amid speculation about their joining politics. While Rajinikanth is being assiduously wooed by the ruling BJP at the centre, his contemporary Kamal Haasan has been critical of the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu. Haasan took a seat on the dais along with DMK working president MK Stalin and other senior party leaders. Rajinikanth, however, was sitting in the front row. Read the story here.
As US sends mixed signals, North Korea plans strikes near Guam
North Korea on Thursday dismissed US President Donald Trump’s threat of “fire and fury” as a “load of nonsense” and announced outlines of a plan to launch missile strikes near the US territory of Guam. The plan, which will be ready for leader Kim Jong Un’s consideration by mid-August, will involve firing four Hwasong-12 mid-range ballistic missiles that will “fly 3,356.7 km … and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam, North Korea’s military said in a statement. The statement, attributed to Gen Kim Rak Gyom — the head of the country’s strategic forces — was replete with the usual North Korean bluster and invectives. Read the story here.
Nawaz Sharif criticises Pakistan’s judiciary for his ouster
A defiant Nawaz Sharif criticised on Thursday the judiciary for forcing him to quit as prime minister, saying it was an “insult” to 200 million people of Pakistan that their elected leader was unceremoniously ousted with a single stroke of pen. “It is an insult to 20 crore people of Pakistan. You voted for me and ‘five honourable’ (judges) with a single stroke of pen sent me home,” 67-year-old Sharif told his supporters in Jhelum on the second day of his journey from Islamabad to Lahore via the Grand Trunk (GT) Road. “There is no charge of corruption or embezzlement. May I ask why I have been ousted?” the former prime minister asked. Read the story here.
Helicopter carrying wedding party mistakenly lands in prison in Bangladesh
A private helicopter carrying a wedding party landed by mistake inside a high security prison on Thursday, sparking massive security concerns amid reports that terrorists were planning an attack on the jail to free the militant inmates. According to the officials the guards at Kashimpur Central Jail detained the five passengers, all members of an expatriate Bangladeshi family, for a brief period but the pilot, reportedly a retired air force officer, flew the plane away after sensing his mistake. Read the story here.