QBullet: Rape of 3-Yr-Old Roils Valley; Iran Min to Meet Swaraj

From protests in Kashmir over minor’s rape to Iran-India ties, here are the top stories of the day.

Updated
India
6 min read
Protests followed after alleged rape of a 3-year-old girl in Kashmir.
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1. Rape of Three-Year-Old Roils Valley, Arrested Man’s Family Leaves Village

The three-year-old child lies shivering under the folds of a faded blue blanket draped over her. Eyes half-open, she yelps in pain as she moves in her sleep. Sitting beside her, the mother is inconsolable, her headscarf soaked in tears.

The mother straightens out the blankets over the child, wipes her face again and says, “I found her lying on the bathroom floor. Her clothes had been peeled off her, but not torn,” she says. “She has been sleeping most of the time but I can feel how much pain she is in. She doesn’t even understand what has happened.”

(Source: The Indian Express)

Protests followed after the alleged rape of a 3-year-old girl from north Kashmir.
Protests followed after the alleged rape of a 3-year-old girl from north Kashmir.
(Photo: AP)

2. BJP Polling Agent Seen on Video ‘Influencing’ Voters Inside Faridabad Booth, Arrested

A polling agent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was arrested by Palwal Police after a video of him allegedly trying to influence voters at a polling booth in Faridabad went viral on social media. An FIR has been registered against the accused, identified as Giriraj Singh. He was produced in court and is now out on bail.

In his complaint regarding the matter, on the basis of which the FIR has been registered, the Presiding Officer, Amit Atri, states that the accused, “with the excuse of helping voters,” pressed the button meant to cast votes three times. “I stopped him each time but Giriraj Singh did not listen. While Giriraj Singh was trying to put a vote, some person recorded a video and made it viral. During this time, a crowd of other voters came and Giriraj Singh managed to escape,” the complainant stated.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Poll booth capturing in Faridabad.
Poll booth capturing in Faridabad.
(Photo: Screenshot)

3. Lockheed Says F-21 Jets Will Not Be Sold to Any Other Country If It Wins IAF Deal

US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin says it will not sell its newly rolled out F-21 fighter jet to any other country if India places an order for 114 planes, in an offer aimed at pitching itself ahead of its US, European and Russian competitors for the mega deal.

Vivek Lall, vice president of Strategy and Business Development for Lockheed Martin, says if F-21 wins the contract, then India will be integrated into the company's global fighter ecosystem, which is a USD 165 billion dollar market.

In an interview to PTI, Lall said the new combat jet is designed to operate across over 60 air force stations in India, and its key aspects include superior engine matrix, electronic warfare system and weapons carrying capacity.

(Source: PTI)

Lockheed Martin’s F-21 fighter jet.
Lockheed Martin’s F-21 fighter jet.
(Photo Courtesy: Lockheed Martin)

4. Amid US-Iran Heat, Tehran Sends Its Foreign Minister to New Delhi for Talks

With the US ending sanctions exemption to India for importing Iran oil after 1 May, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is reaching India late Monday night and will meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Tuesday.

Zarif is making the trip three weeks after President Donald Trump decided to squeeze Iran, announcing that the US will no longer grant sanctions exemption to Iran’s oil customers. The end of the waiver means India cannot import oil from Iran, or else its state-owned or private entities will face US sanctions.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Zarif is scheduled to meet Swaraj Tuesday morning. Zarif was in Turkmenistan on Sunday and Monday.

(Source: The Indian Express)

File image of Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister. 
File image of Sushma Swaraj, External Affairs Minister. 
(Photo: PTI)

5. ‘You Should Be Ashamed… Why Scold Mentor Over Riot Remark?’ PM Narendra Modi Stings Rahul Gandhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked Congress president Rahul Gandhi hours after he said that Sam Pitroda should be “ashamed” of his comment on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Stinging the Congress president, the prime minister said that “naamdaar (dynast) should be ashamed of himself rather than reprimanding his mentor for his remarks.”

“You pretended to scold your mentor for what? Because he publicly said what had always been in Congress’s heart? It’s you who should be ashamed,” PM Modi said at an election rally in Punjab’s Bhatinda, from where union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal is seeking re-election.

(Source: The Indian Express)

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
(Photo: PTI)

6. ‘Haasan’s Tongue Should Be Cut off’: TN Minister on Godse Remark

Makkal Needhi Maiyam founder Kamal Haasan’s tongue should be cut off for saying that free India’s “first extremist was a Hindu,” Tamil Nadu Minister K T Rajenthra Bhalaji said Monday.

Bhalaji, a senior AIADMK leader, also sought a ban on MNM for “sowing violence” and demanded that the Election Commission of India act against Haasan.

“His tongue should be cut off...he has said (free India’s first extremist) was a Hindu. Extremism has no religion, neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian,” the State Minister for Milk and Dairy Development told reporters here and accused Haasan of “acting” to garner minority votes.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

7. Chanda Kochhar and Her Husband Questioned by ED

During their questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday, former ICICI Bank CEO, Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar submitted documents related to their personal finances as well as investments in different companies; details of movable and immovable properties; and disclosures made before the Reserve Bank of India, SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India) and other regulators, according to an official familiar with the matter.

The former leading banker has engaged Delhi-based advocate, Vijay Aggarwal, who is also Nirav Modi’s lawyer, to defend her. Aggarwal has successfully defended several accused in 2G scam case in the past.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

File image of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar. 
File image of former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar. 
(Photo: Reuters)

8. Mamata Banerjee: ‘Hinduism Is Very Liberal… They Made Jai Shri Ram a Political Slogan, but Ram Does Not Just Belong to BJP’

Fighting one of the most decisive elections of her career, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee admits that the failure of the Left and Congress are behind the ascendance of the BJP. But that does not mean that the BJP can replicate its Tripura win in Bengal, she says in an interview to Jayanta Ghosal who followed her on the campaign trail.

In the past eight years, the Opposition’s main allegation has been that your government has adopted a policy of Muslim appeasement, and that is why the lotus is blooming in West Bengal.

I don’t think so. In Bengal, the lotus (the BJP’s party symbol) can’t bloom. The Congress and CPI(M) are in a bad shape. Breakaway groups from the Congress and CPI(M) have joined the BJP. They are working together against the Trinamool Congress. The BJP has a good equation with the state Congress and the Left as well. It is a state-level understanding. I don’t mind that. It is their political strategy. It is not based on any ideology.

(Source: The Indian Express)

File image of BJP President Amit Shah.
File image of BJP President Amit Shah.
(Source: PTI)

9. Rafale Order Trimmed Over Cash Priorities, Says Gadkari

Union minister Nitin Gadkari said that the government’s “financial availability” dictated the decision to bring down the number of Rafale jets to be bought from 126 to the current 36 aircraft purchase agreement.

In an interview to journalist Karan Thapar, responding specifically to this question, Mr Gadkari admitted that financial considerations had been behind the scaling down of the order.

“How can you advise me that you can take 100 planes? At least we need that much money to spend them, so it is depending upon the government’s financial position to purchase 36,” he said.

(Source: The Hindu)

File image of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. 
File image of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. 
(Photo: PTI)

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