The Quint’s seven-part docu-series to mark the 23rd year of the Babri Masjid demolition.
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QBullet: 45 Dead in Himachal Bus Accident; Babri Charges Revived 

1. 45 Dead as Uttarakhand Bus Falls Into River in Himachal

In perhaps one of the worst road accidents in the recent past, 45 passengers, including at least 16 people from Uttarakhand, were killed on Wednesday when a private bus travelling from Vikasnagar to Tiuni fell into Tons river near Nerwa town in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. The victims include 28 men, 10 women and seven children.

In a miraculous save, the conductor and a passenger managed to jump off the bus seconds before it skidded off the mountain road near Gumma village, 12 km from the Uttarakhand border and 190 km from Dehradun.

(Source: Times of India)

2. How to Decipher China's Answer

China on Wednesday "standardised" the names of six towns in Arunachal Pradesh, parts of which Beijing claims as "South Tibet", a week after the Dalai Lama visited the frontier state.

At least one name - Wo' gyainling – appears to have a direct link with the Dalai Lama's visit.

Sources in the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister's office in Itanagar said they felt that Wo' gyainling was a probable reference to the Urgelling Monastery, the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso, 5 km south of Tawang. The 14th Dalai Lama, the current Tibetan spiritual head, had visited the monastery on 9 April.

The "standardisation", according to Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang, reflects "that China's territorial claim over South Tibet is supported by clear evidence in terms of history, culture and administration".

(Source: The Telegraph)

3. In the Dock and So Proud

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the revival of conspiracy charges in the Babri case against BJP veterans such as LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, transferred the trial from Raebareli to Lucknow, and ordered daily hearings with a two-year deadline.

Among the others facing the charge is Kalyan Singh, the current Rajasthan governor and the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Union minister Uma Bharti and Ayodhya spearhead Vinay Katiyar. Kalyan will have immunity from the trial till his term at the Raj Bhavan ends, after which the conspiracy charge will stand revived.

A sign of the times was on full display today when Uma, the sole central minister named in the case, declared soon after the court ruling that she was "proud, unapologetic and unrepentant" about her association with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

(Source: The Telegraph)

4. Our Fight for Justice has its First Victory, Says O Panneerselvam After Sasikala Sidelined

Tamil Nadu’s Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said on Wednesday that talks of the merger of the two factions of the AIADMK will begin now. OPS announced that delinking TTV Dinakaran and VK Sasikala from the party was the first victory for them. Expulsion of Dinakaran and his aunt Sasikala was the foremost precondition given by OPS for any talks of merger to go through.

“Both the factions will talk to fulfil the aspirations of lakhs of party workers. This is our faction’s first victory that Sasikala and her family have been ousted from the party,” OPS was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.

Dinakaran refused to step down as party deputy general secretary, arguing that he had to first consult his aunt Sasikala, party general secretary, who is serving a sentence in a Bengaluru jail.

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. Our Job is Not to Kill Our People, Army Tells SC

A day after the Supreme Court questioned its silence over judicial enquiry commission reports accusing its personnel of committing atrocities in Manipur during insurgency, the Army on Wednesday said its job was not to kill “our own country’s people”.

The Army accused that the findings of the judicial probes may have been inadvertently “biased” as the judges who headed the inquiry commissions were locals. “The Army’s job is not to kill our own people,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said in defence of the Army in the Supreme Court.

“This is our own country. If the Army is disbelieved, then the whole system will go haywire and cannot work. The inquiry officers may have been biased due to their local considerations,” he argued in a hearing that went on the whole day.

(Source: The Hindu)

6. BSF Ex-Soldier to Move Court, Wife Says Dismissal to Ensure No One Raises Voice

BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav, whose complaint in January about bad food at his unit had triggered a row, will appeal in the high court against his dismissal on Wednesday.

The constable was sacked after a three-month trial at a summary court martial, which held that he had tarnished the BSF’s image by uploading cell phone videos on social media of burnt parathas and watery dal served at his post along the India-Pakistan border.

“I have been dismissed from service, and will now appeal in the high court. Hope I get justice. I have full faith in the judiciary. This is what happens when you say the truth? Happening for years now,” Yadav said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. Modi Govt Puts an End to Red Beacon; President, VP, CJI Exempted

Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel’s driver removes the red beacon from the minister’s car after a Cabinet decision limiting use of red beacons, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)
Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel’s driver removes the red beacon from the minister’s car after a Cabinet decision limiting use of red beacons, in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: PTI)

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to do away with red beacons atop officials cars, announcing that only three categories would be allowed to use it – the President, Vice President and Chief Justice of India. The decision comes into effect from 1 May 2017.

“Red beacon to be removed from cars of PM and all ministers. It will be allowed only on emergency service vehicles from 1 May to end VIP culture,” Union Minister Gadkari told news agency PTI.

The move comes weeks after the two Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab decided against the use of the red beacon or lal batti on their official cars.

(Source: The Indian Express)

8. No Bouquets, No Official Welcome as Canadian Minister Arrives in Amritsar

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan landed at Sri Guru Ramdas Airport in Amritsar to a tepid welcome on Wednesday evening, with 100-odd youths waiting for him outside the airport.

After coming out of the airport, Sajjan looked briefly at the youths raising slogans to welcome him before slipping into a vehicle.

Deputy commissioner Amritsar Kamaldeep Singh Sangha was not in the city. Ajnala sub-divisional magistrate Anupreet Kaur was, however, present at the airport at the time of Sajjan’s arrival.

“Harjit Singh Sajjan was not a state guest. We extend official welcome to only to a state guest. I was out of the city today for hearing in a contempt case. I am sure some officials must be present there at the airport to look after the arrangements,” said Sangha.

(Source: The Indian Express)

9. Urinals, Nappy-Changing Counters Soon in Train Toilets

Flooded with complaints about dirty toilets in train coaches, the railways has planned to fit swanky toilets in 66 premium trains in the next four months aimed at improving passenger experience.

The transporter is struggling for a long time to provide clean toilets in train coaches.

In a bid to make train journey more pleasant, railways has come out with two designs for new toilets with luxury finish on par with personal toilets in big hotels.

(Source: Times of India)