QBullet: Monsoon Rains Kill 1,400; Cong Wins Karnataka Local Polls
Top stories of the day.
1. In Three Months, Monsoon Mayhem Kills 1,400 In India
The Union Home Ministry’s National Emergency Response Centre said on Monday that 1,400 people have died from rain and flood-related causes since 28 May, a number that is almost as high as the 1,480 and the 1,420 deaths due to such causes in all of 2015 and 2016, making this year’s monsoon one of the most destructive in recent years.
The Kerala floods alone accounted for 488 deaths. Uttar Pradesh recorded the second-highest number of fatalities at 254. On 3 September, 10 people died in Uttar Pradesh and 13 were killed in Uttarakhand.
2. Rupee Hits Record Low, Petrol Prices Reach New High
The rupee collapsed to a new lifetime low of 71.21 against the US dollar, while petrol prices rose to a new high of Rs 86.56 a litre in Mumbai on Monday, 3 September. The rupee, which lost 10 paise against the US dollar in late afternoon trade on Monday, ended at a new record low of 71.10. The rupee’s previous record low was 71, marked on 31 August.
In Delhi, the petrol prices touched Rs 79.15 per litre — increased by Rs 0.31 per litre. Monday’s figures breached the previous highs recorded on 28 May this year when the petrol prices were at Rs 86.24 in Mumbai and Rs 78.43 in Delhi.
Diesel, too, hit a new high of Rs 75.54/litre in Mumbai and Rs 71.15 per litre in Delhi on Monday.
3. Karnataka Local Body Polls: Advantage Cong, But Has to Bank On JD(S)
The ruling Congress in Karnataka nosed ahead in a majority of seats in elections for 102 urban local bodies and three city corporations in the state on 29 August. However, it will have to rely on coalition partner JD(S) to govern the local bodies and corporations due to hung verdicts in a number of places, including two city corporations, where the BJP has done well.
In results announced Monday, 3 September, Congress candidates emerged as winners in 946 of 2,527 seats in the 102 urban local bodies that went to the polls. While BJP candidates won 875 seats, JD(S) won 375 and Independent candidates won 315 seats.
4. Governor’s Office Intervened to End J&K Kidnap Drama
The Jammu and Kashmir Governor’s office took strong exception to the detention of the father of Hizbul Mujahideen ‘commander’ Riyaz Naikoo by the local police, which led to a spate of abductions of relatives of policemen in the Kashmir Valley last week.
It was on the intervention of senior officials in Governor Satya Pal Malik’s office that Naikoo’s father Asadullah was released and the impasse over the abduction of 11 relatives of policemen in south Kashmir on 31 August was brought to an end, a top source told The Hindu.
A senior government official said that 32 J&K policemen had been killed this year, and most were targeted killings.
5. Student Held After TN BJP Chief Complains She Said ‘Fascist BJP Govt’
A 28-year-old woman studying in Canada was arrested Monday, 3 September, in Tuticorin and sent to judicial custody for 15 days after she shouted “fascist BJP government down, down” on board a flight in the presence of Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan, who filed a complaint.
Lois Sofia, on her way home from Canada, was with her parents who joined her at Chennai for the IndiGo flight to Tuticorin. The incident took place after the flight landed at the Tuticorin airport.
A senior police officer said Sofia was taken into custody after Tamilisai filed a complaint with the airport police.
6. CJI to Deliver Verdicts In 10 Important Cases With Just 20 Working Days
With just 20 working days left in the term of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, verdicts in at least 10 important cases, including a key case related to the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, are expected over the next few weeks.
Perhaps the most keenly awaited ruling by a bench led by CJI Misra is the one on the NDA government’s ambitious push for Aadhaar, the biometric-based national identification platform. Petitions filed by social activists have challenged the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling 2016 law. A constitution bench had on 10 May reserved the verdict after a marathon 38-day hearing, spanning four months.
7. Bombay HC Questions Press Meet by Police on Activists’ Arrests
The Bombay High Court on Monday, 3 September, was surprised to learn that the Maharashtra police had conducted a press conference on the arrest of five human rights activists accused of being a part of the Elgar Parishad and instigating the subsequent clashes at Bombay High Court in December last year.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Mridula Bhatkar raised questions about Maharashtra Additional Director General (Law and Order) Param Bir Singh reading out documents and letters, which could be used as evidence, at the 31 August press conference.
“How can the police do this? The matter is sub judice. The Supreme Court is seized of the matter. In such cases, revealing information pertaining to the case is wrong,” the Bench said.
8. Army Chief Rawat Unhappy with Personnel Moving SC Over AFSPA
The Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, has disapproved of the manner in which several hundred Army personnel approached the Supreme Court for protection against prosecution in counter-insurgency areas.
“He does not approve of the manner in which serving personnel approached the court on the issue in an individual capacity. The Army has been following up the issue of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA),” an official source said on Monday, 3 September.
Over 700 Army personnel had recently moved the court seeking protection in counter-insurgency areas under the AFSPA and its non-dilution.
9. Rahul Gandhi Asks Congress Fronts to Help Devise 2019 Win Strategy
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has asked the party’s affiliates and departments to help evolve a winnable strategy for next year’s national elections. This is part of his efforts to prepare the organisation for the polls.
“As heads of the frontal organisations, departments and cells, you have been active in taking the message of the Congress president to the grassroots and your suggestions and feedback is necessary so as to plan the election strategy,” Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation and training Ashok Gehlot said in a 28 August letter to heads of the party’s wings.
Gehlot has asked them to prepare a brief note on the election preparedness and areas for intervention.
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