Modi, Abe to lay bullet train project foundation, UN criticises India, concerns over Aadhaar: Top stories
PM Narendra Modi and Japan’s Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone of the Mumbai-Ahmadabad high speed rail project, the UN criticises India for rise of religious intolerance, and gang clones fingerprints of Aadhaar operators. Here are the top stories to keep you up to date.india Updated: Sep 12, 2017 07:59 IST
Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project ready for takeoff; Modi, Shinzo Abe to lay foundation on Sept 14
India’s ambitious High Speed Rail (HSR) project is now at the take-off stage, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the 508-km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) on September 14 in Ahmedabad. Once complete (scheduled in December 2023, but commencement date sought to be advanced to August 2022), the train which will have a top speed of 350 km per hour will reduce travel time between the two cities to around 2 hours from the existing 7-8 hours. Read the story here.
UN rights commissioner criticises India over Gauri Lankesh murder, handling of Rohingya refugees
The UN high commissioner for human rights on Monday criticised India for the rise of religious intolerance and attacks on freedom of expression, including the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, as well as its handling of Rohingya refugees. In unusually frank remarks made while addressing the 36th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said rights defenders working for India’s most vulnerable groups were being harassed or denied protection by the state instead of being seen as allies in building a more inclusive society. There was no official reaction from the Indian government to Al Hussein’s comments. Read the story here.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla murder: Widow faced deportation from US after losing resident status
The widow of Indian national Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot and killed in a suspected hate crime in Kansas in February, faced deportation from the US after her husband’s murder till a lawmaker and others helped her get a one-year visa. Sunayana Dumala lost her US resident status after Kuchibhotla was gunned down in a bar in Olathe, Kansas, on February 22 by a man who shouted racial slurs before he opened fire. Kevin Yoder, a Republican member of the house of representatives, said he became “apoplectic” when he heard the news and began working to help Dumala maintain her residency after she travelled to Hyderabad for her husband’s funeral and feared she would be unable to return to the US. Read the story here.
Fresh concerns after cops bust gang cloning fingerprints of Aadhaar operators
The arrest of 10 men for allegedly cloning fingerprints to subvert Aadhaar’s vaunted biometric-based security system has revealed fresh vulnerabilities in India’s controversial identity project. On Sunday, the Uttar Pradesh police announced they had busted a Lucknow-based gang, which stole the fingerprints of authorised Aadhaar enrolment operators. These fingerprints were cloned and used to access the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)’s enrolment service to create “fake” Aadhaar numbers. The gang acquired images of the fingerprints of Aadhaar enrolment operators, printed these images on butter-paper, and placed these prints on a sheet of a light-sensitive resin which was then exposed to ultra-violet light. Read the story here.
Jaypee insolvency case: SC asks holding company to deposit Rs 2,000 crore
The Supreme Court on Monday asked real estate firm Jaypee to deposit Rs 2,000 crore before October 27 and asked for a plan within 45 days on how it will protect homebuyers’ interest. The court also restrained directors and managing director of Jaypee Infratech and its holding company, Jaypee Associates, from travelling abroad. The holding company will have to deposit the money. “We are not concerned about the company, we are only concerned about homebuyers,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said, handing over the management of Jaypee Infratech to insolvency resolution professional. Read the story here.
India complains over ‘offensive’ Australian ad showing Lord Ganesha eating lamb
India has lodged an official complaint over an Australian advertisement that features the Hindu god Ganesha and other religious icons endorsing lamb. In the TV commercial from industry group Meat and Livestock Australia, a number of religious figures -- including Lord Ganesha, Jesus, Buddha and Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard -- are seen sitting down together to a lamb-based meal and raising a glass to the meat. The image of elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, who is widely considered to be vegetarian, was met with anger in Australia’s Indian community. Read the story here.
Ryan school murder: SC seeks reply from Centre, Haryana govt; two officials held
The Supreme Court on Monday sought replies from the Centre and Haryana government on a petition filed by a father seeking a CBI probe into the murder of his eight-year-old son at Ryan International School in Gurgaon. The court order came a day after police arrested two top Ryan officials and accused school authorities of tampering with evidence by wiping bloodstains from floors and walls. The boy’s father asked for comprehensive guidelines for all schools to prevent such crimes. He also sought a national tribunal to look into such cases across the country. Read the story here.
Only those who clean the country can chant Vande Mataram: PM Modi
People lose the right to chant Vande Mataram if they can’t keep the country clean, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday as he urged people to fight social evils such as disrespect to women. He underlined the need to bring social changes during a motivating speech at a student convention marking the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s famous Chicago address and ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya’s centenary. “I know many people might be hurt, but do we have the right to say it? Think 50 times if we have the right to say Vande Mataram,” Modi said, minutes after he was greeted with chants of Vande Mataram at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. Read the story here.
Sitharaman to meet military chiefs every day to speed up decision-making process
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has decided to meet the three service chiefs every morning to speed up the decision-making process and ensure military readiness, a spokesperson said on Monday. “A whole range of meetings has been scheduled with the three defence service chiefs to review military preparedness and allied issues of strategic interest,” the official said, adding that the defence secretary will also be required to meet her on a daily basis. The Defence Acquisition Council, the ministry’s apex decision-making body, will now meet every fortnight to speed up weapon purchases. Read the story here.
Disappointed over Ramdev’s name missing from ‘fake baba’ list: Digvijaya
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Monday said he was “disappointed” over the missing name of Baba Ramdev from a list of ‘fraud’ saints released a day earlier by a religious body. The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, an apex body of Hindu holy men, on Sunday released a list of 14 ‘babas’ it said were “fake” and announced that it planned to bring in a mechanism to award the ‘sant’ title to various persons. “Disappointed to find Baba Ramdev’s name missing from the list,” the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh tweeted. He alleged that Baba Ramdev was conning everyone in the country by selling fake products by touting them as original. Read the story here.
In probe into benami assets case involving Lalu’s family, I-T issues attachment order
The income tax department has issued a final attachment order against some assets in connection with its benami deal probe against RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family. Officials said the order was issued against a firm allegedly involved in the case -- AB Exports Private Limited -- and also alleged that Prasad’s relatives were the “beneficiaries” of the immovable properties of this firm. A property in south Delhi’s New Friends Colony is owned by this firm, they said. The department had earlier served notices of attachment of assets to Prasad, Bihar’s ex-chief minister, his wife Rabri Devi, also a former CM, son Tejashwi Yadav, former state deputy CM, daughters Chanda, Ragini Yadav and Misa Bharti, an MP, and son-in-law Shailesh Kumar. Read the story here.
Pakistan has no option but to stop ceasefire violations, says Rajnath Singh
Union home Rajnath Singh on Monday warned Islamabad to mend its ways and stop firing at Indian posts and villages along the 744 km long Line of Control and 198- km long International Border in Jammu and Kashmir. Singh’s warning followed the latest ceasefire violation by the Pakistani army in Shahpur Kerni sector of Poonch district in the morning. Addressing displaced border villagers at a relief camp in Nowshera town in Rajouri district, Singh said that he had told the BSF DG in 2014 that “we shouldn’t fire first but if they (Pakistani forces) fire even a single bullet then there should be no count of bullets from our side.” Read the story here.