Militant attack in Srinagar, cut in petrol and diesel prices, Honeypreet’s arrest: Top stories
From the JeM attack on the BSF camp in Srinagar to Arun Shourie’s comments on demonetisation to Honeypreet Insaan’s arrest, here are the top stories to bring you up to date.india Updated: Oct 04, 2017 07:38 IST
Soldier, 3 militants killed as Pakistan’s JeM storms BSF camp in Srinagar
A Border Security Force (BSF) officer was killed in Kashmir on Tuesday as forces foiled a militant attempt to storm a paramilitary base close to the high-security Srinagar airport, sparking an hours-long gun-battle that left all three radicals dead. Three others security personnel also sustained injuries in the early morning attack, claimed by the Pakistan-based outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), blamed for similar strikes at Indian security bases including one at Uri in September last year that killed 18 soldiers. “All the three militants have been killed. An assistant sub-inspector of BSF also died in the initial assault,” Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid said. Tuesday’s attack was the latest in Kashmir which has seen a spurt in militancy, often blamed on Pakistan-based outfits by India. Read the story here.
SC rejects govt’s stand on Rohingyas, says judiciary can review executive decision to deport refugees
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it has the authority to review the move to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees, rejecting the NDA government’s stand that the judiciary must not interfere with an executive decision. “To say this petition is not maintainable, I believe, is not correct,” said an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra. “I, for one, believe from my past experience of 40 years that when a petition like this comes to us, the court should be slow to abdicate its jurisdiction.” The judge was responding to additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta’s argument that the Centre’s submission with regard to the case was justified. Read the story here.
Suicide too is a bold step, Arun Shourie says on demonetisation
Slamming the Narendra Modi government over sliding economic growth and increasing job losses, former Union minister Arun Shourie has likened demonetisation with suicide, saying the latter is too “a bold step”. He also called the Narendra Modi government as “government of two-and-a-half persons”. “This is a government by ‘ilhaam’ (revelation). The Prime Minister has the ‘ilhaam’ one night that demonetisation should be done and he does it. In any case it was a bold step. I have to remind you suicide too is a bold step,” Shourie said in an interview to NDTV when asked why in his view, the government went in for demonetisation. Read the story here.
Kerala ‘love jihad’: New SC bench asks why marriage was annulled by high court
The Supreme Court questioned on Tuesday the annulment of a Kerala woman’s marriage by the state’s high court in May, after she was allegedly converted to Islam forcibly by an organisation with suspected terrorist links. A bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra observed if the case warranted a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe. The question remained the marriage of 24-year-old homeopathic doctor Hadiya Shefin, born Akhila Ashokan, to Shafin Jahan without her family’s consent and the high court annulling the relationship. The 27-year-old husband challenged the order in the top court. “The question is can the HC in exercise of Article 226 (special powers) annul a marriage?” the bench asked additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta. Read the story here.
Honeypreet Insan, adopted daughter of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, arrested from Punjab highway
Honeypreet Insan, the adopted daughter of rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was arrested on Tuesday from a highway in Punjab more than a month after she went into hiding. Her arrest came hours after she appeared on multiple television channels to deny police charges of instigating the Dera chief chief’s followers after he was sentenced to 20 years in jail. At least 41 people were killed violence by his followers and subsequent police action. Aditya Insaan, the Dera spokesperson, is absconding. Both of them have been charged with sedition, conspiracy to free Gurmeet and inciting violence after his sentencing. Read the story here.
Losing sight in Kashmir: Pellet guns shatter many dreams
Umer Nazir, 12, dropped out of school last year, unable to bear the agony and frustration of not being able to see what his teacher wrote on the blackboard in school. But till a few weeks ago, he was a normal class six student, a cheerful youngster growing up with loving parents and caring friends. Till that fateful day in July last year, when he was hit by a hail of pellets fired by security forces in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Rough estimates put the number of people with pellet injuries during the 2016 unrest at more than 6,000; more than 1,100 were hit in the eyes. The extensive use of pellet guns on civilians had sparked outrage and international rights group Amnesty started a campaign against the use of what the government says is a “non-lethal weapon”. Read the story here.
Vijay Mallya rearrested and bailed, refuses to agree to extradition
Controversial Indian businessman Vijay Mallya was arrested again in London on Tuesday and bailed until December 4 on a new charge of money laundering brought by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The 61-year-old liquor baron, who appeared in court, said “No” to the chief magistrate’s query on whether he agreed to be extradited to India. The next hearing is scheduled for November 20. A visibly pleased Mallya said after the hearing that he was facing many “extraordinary charges” but asked journalists to wait for the court’s ruling at the end of the extradition trial scheduled to begin on December 4. Read the story here.
Govt cuts excise duty on petrol, diesel by Rs 2 a litre to counter inflation
The central government on Tuesday slashed excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 a litre to tame rising inflation and to shield consumers from the surging price of auto fuels. The move is in response to criticism that increase in taxes on petrol and diesel, while global prices remained low, was pinching consumers. Fuel prices have started moving up owing to refinery shutdowns in the US following recent hurricanes. On Monday, the petrol price in Delhi was Rs 70.83 per litre, its highest since 16 January; diesel cost Rs 59.07, also its highest since the same date. “The revenue loss on account of these reductions in excise duty is about Rs 26,000 crore in a full year and about Rs 13,000 crore during the remaining part of the current financial year,” said a statement from the finance ministry. Read the story here.
‘Review bill to regularise teachers’: Delhi LG Baijal, CM Kejriwal in fresh spat
Lieutenant governor Anil Baijal urged chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to reconsider a bill for regularising the jobs of guest teachers that the Delhi government intends to introduce in a special assembly session on Wednesday. The bill cleared by the cabinet in September seeks to regularise at least 15,000 teachers hired on contract. But Baijal wrote to Kejriwal on Tuesday that introduction of the bill was “not in accordance with the constitutional scheme of governance of NCT of Delhi”. The lieutenant governor’s stand could trigger another round of jurisdictional bickering between the national capital’s elected government and Raj Niwas. Read the story here.
US senators raise concerns about human rights, business issues with India
US senators cutting across party lines reaffirmed their support for ties with India on Tuesday but raised concerns about the state of human rights in the country, targeting of NGOs, shrinking civil society space due to the rise of “Hindu nationalism” and unequal treatment of foreign businesses. They asked Kenneth Ian Juster, the US ambassador-designate to India, for his views on these issues at a hearing to process his nomination, and his commitment to pursuing them if confirmed. Juster was on board with them on most issues, but so was the Indian government and civil society, he reminded them. “India has a great tradition of tolerance,” he said to a question on religious tolerance in India, especially with regard to minorities, including Sikhs. Read the story here.
Afghanistan pull-out would be ‘to our ultimate peril’: James Mattis
US defence secretary James Mattis warned Tuesday that an American withdrawal from Afghanistan would be “to our ultimate peril,” as he briefed Congress on plans to increase US troop levels. “Based on intelligence community analysis and my own evaluation, I am convinced we would absent ourselves from this region at our peril,” he said, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The administration of President Donald Trump recently announced plans to send an additional 3,000 troops to Afghanistan to train and advise the country’s security forces. There are already 11,000 US troops there. Read the story here.