QBullet: Def Min Warns Pak Over Sunjwan; Neiphiu Rio Wins in Naga
Here are the top stories of the day.
1. Pakistan Will Have to Pay For This Misadventure: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Jammu Attack
The attack on the military station at Sunjuwan in Jammu was carried out by Jaish-E-Mohammad and the perpetrators were assisted by Pakistan, said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday. Addressing a press conference over the security situation in Jammu, the minister said Jaish-E-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar was the mastermind of the attack but added that there was also local support to the attack.
“Terrorists belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed, sponsored by Azhar Masood residing in Pakistan and deriving support from there in,” said the minister. Blaming Pakistan for the attack in which five Indian soldiers were killed, the minister said, “Intelligence inputs show that terrorists were controlled by their handlers from across border”.
2. Call Me Anti-National for Saying This But India and Pakistan Must Talk: J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti
Underlining she ran the risk of being “called anti-national” by some TV channels, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Monday called for talks between India and Pakistan, saying “there is no alternative” and she could not allow a situation where “people die every day” in the cycle of violence in the state.
Addressing the J&K assembly on the last day of the Budget session, the Chief Minister, speaking on the issue of Kashmir, said: “We have fought three wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971 and have won all of them, even the Kargil war. But our basic problem has not been resolved. Baatchit ke bina koi hal nahin hai (there is no alternative to talks).”
Referring to a convention held in Odisha – she did not take any name – by the Pakistan-India People’s Forum For Peace and Harmony, Mufti said: “They stressed the need for dialogue, they said India, Pakistan will have to talk.”
3. Shopian Firing Case: SC Restrains J&K Police from Taking Coercive Steps Against Major Aditya
The Supreme Court restrained the J&K police from taking any coercive step against Major Aditya Kumar, who was booked for firing on stone pelters in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian. This means Maj Aditya Kumar cannot be called for interrogation or arrested by the J&K police in connection with the Shopian incident FIR.
The apex court directed the J&K government to file response in two weeks to the petition filed by Lt Col Karamveer Singh, father of Maj Aditya Kumar, seeking quashing of the Shopian FIR.
SC also asked attorney general KK Venugopal to assist the court in the case and specify the Centre's stand on the issue of lodging of FIRs against army men by state police in incidents relating of operation.
(Source: The Times of India)
4. Pakistan Promulgates Ordinance to Include JUD, FIF Among Banned Groups
Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has promulgated an ordinance to amend the country’s Anti-Terrorism Act to list groups sanctioned by the UN Security Council – including the Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF) – as terror organisations.
The ordinance promulgated late last week was made public on Monday. Under the existing provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, groups sanctioned by the UN Security Council were not automatically listed as terror organisations in Pakistan. The ordinance amends Sections 11B and 11EE to include groups that have been sanctioned by the UN Security Council.
5. Nagaland Assembly Elections 2018: Neiphiu Rio Elected Unopposed Before Polls
No button on an EVM has been pressed, campaigning has only just begun in earnest and polling day – 27 February – is still two weeks away. And yet, Nagaland already has its first legislator. On Monday, former chief minister and leader of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Neiphiu Rio was declared “elected unopposed” from the Northern Angami II constituency.
The Election Commission declared the ‘result’ after the only other candidate, Chupfuo Angami from the Naga People’s Front (NPF), withdrew his nomination. Angami is also Rio’s brother-in-law and from the same village, Touphema. The BJP ended its 15-year alliance with NPF last week and joined hands with the NDPP.
6. Mohan Bhagwat’s Army Remark ‘An Insult to Every Indian’, Says Rahul Gandhi; RSS Issues Clarification
The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Monday issued a clarification after its chief Mohan Bhagwat made a controversial statement that his organisation is capable to raise a force for the country “in three days”, if the situation demanded.
Saying that Bhagwat’s remarks were misinterpreted, Manmohan Vaidya of the Akhil Bharatiya Prachaar Pramukh, said, “Bhagwat ji said that if situation arises and the Constitution permits, the Indian Army would take six months to prepare the society whereas the Sangh swayamsevaks can be trained in three days, as Swayamsevaks practise discipline regularly.”
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday slammed the RSS chief for his remarks and called it “an insult to every Indian”.
7. India Gets Access to Strategic Oman Port for Military Use, Chabahar-Gwadar in Sight
In a strategic move to expand its footprint in the Indian Ocean region, India has secured access to the key Port of Duqm in Oman for military use and logistical support, top sources have told The Indian Express. This is part of India’s maritime strategy to counter Chinese influence and activities in the region.
This was one of the key takeaways of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Oman over the last two days. He met Sultan of Oman Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said, and an annexure to the Memorandum of Understanding on Military Cooperation was signed between the two countries.
Sources told The Indian Express that following this pact, the services of Duqm port and dry dock will be available for maintenance of Indian military vessels. The Port of Duqm is situated on the southeastern seaboard of Oman, overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
(Source: Indian Express)
8. Poll-Bound MP, Rajasthan Unveil Sops, Loan Waivers
Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which go to the polls later this year, announced major concessions for farmers, including a farm-loan waiver and higher prices as they sought to curb rural distress.
Making a surprise announcement while presenting the Rajasthan budget, chief minister Vasundhara Raje, under pressure after losing two Lok Sabha constituencies and an assembly seat in recent by-polls, said her government had decided to waive up to Rs 50,000 of all short-term crop loans of small and marginal farmers (borrowed from cooperative banks till 30 September 2017) with an outlay of Rs 8,000 crore.
In Bhopal, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a bonus of Rs 200 a quintal (100 kg) over the federally fixed minimum support price or MSP of wheat and paddy. In 2007-08, Chouhan had announced a bonus of Rs 150 per quintal of wheat.
9. RBI Junks All Old Debt Restructuring Schemes
In a move that would hasten recognition of bad loans, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday withdrew all existing frameworks for addressing stressed assets and came out with new norms that require lenders to classify a loan as a non-performing asset (NPA) immediately upon restructuring.
For loans that are larger than Rs 2,000 crore, the resolution plan needs to be completed within 180 days. Under the new norms, if a resolution plan is not implemented within 180 days, the account must be referred to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
(Source: Times of India)
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