QBullet: Rahul Hosts Iftar; AAP Protests Outside L-G’s Residence
1. Pranab Mukherjee Among Congress, Oppn Leaders at Rahul Gandhi’s Iftar Party
Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s iftar party on Wednesday, 13 June, became a meeting ground of several Opposition leaders, with talks centring on political issues and the need for state-level unity ahead of the upcoming elections. It also saw large-scale participation by representatives of the Muslim community.
Gandhi sat next to Pranab Mukherjee, in an apparent signal that the former president’s controversial visit to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh headquarters was a thing of the past.
Former President Pratibha Patil, former Vice President Hamid Ansari, Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury, senior Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Mishra, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Kanimozhi and Trinamool’s Dinesh Trivedi were also present at the table.
2. Protesting AAP Leaders, Workers Stopped by Police Outside L-G’s House
A large number of AAP leaders and workers protested outside the L-G’s house on Wednesday, 13 June, even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues continued with their sit-in at Anil Baijal’s office for the third straight day.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also began an indefinite hunger strike. Earlier, on Tuesday, Health Minister Satyendar Jain had launched an indefinite hunger strike.
Kejriwal, along with Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, has been staging a sit-in at the L-G’s office since Monday, 11 June, to protest against agitating IAS officials and to get an approval for the doorstep ration delivery scheme.
3. Fire Contained at Mumbai High-Rise Building That Houses Deepika Padukone’s Residence, 2 Firemen Hospitalised
Two firemen had to be hospitalised after a major blaze charred the top three floors of a 33-storey residential high rise at Prabhadevi in south central Mumbai on Wednesday, 13 June.
No other casualties were reported at the BeauMonde Towers, where Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone also owns a 26th floor apartment. As many as 95 people were safely evacuated from the building soon after the fire alarm went off.
The firemen – identified as Harishchandra Raorane (54) and Shivaji Achrekar (53) – were rushed to the hospital after they complained of suffocation. Their condition is said to be stable.
4. Rajnath to Take Call on Jammu and Kashmir Ceasefire Today
A final decision on the commencement of counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be taken by the Centre during a security meeting held at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday, 14 June, senior government officials said.
Official sources said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to take the final call on Thursday after consultations with senior officials from the security grid and other functionaries of the MHA. Director general of Jammu and Kashmir police SP Vaid has also been asked to report to New Delhi on Thursday, they added.
5. Bungalow ‘Damage’: Hate, Jealousy Behind Allegations, Says Akhilesh Yadav
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav Wednesday, 13 June, dismissed allegations that he had left the official bungalow allocated to him in a damaged state. Akhilesh had vacated the bungalow last week.
Addressing the media, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister blamed “hate and jealousy”, without naming anyone, and said this was an attempt to malign his image.
6. In Jharkhand’s Godda, Two People Lynched for ‘Stealing’ Cattle; Four Arrested
Two people, caught by villagers for allegedly stealing buffaloes, were thrashed by a mob leading to their death in a village under Deodand police station area of Jharkhand’s Godda district on Wednesday, 13 June morning.
The police have arrested four persons in this connection and registered an FIR in connection with the murder. Besides, they have also registered an FIR for allegedly stealing buffaloes against unidentified persons. The police said that the victims reportedly have a history of stealing cattle and they were ascertaining their antecedents.
Also Read: Two lynched over cattle 'theft' in Jharkhand
7. Nirav Modi Flees to Brussels, Believed to Be Travelling on Singapore Passport
Absconding billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi is understood to have jumped on a plane and fled to Brussels on Tuesday or Wednesday, immediately after front-page reports in the media that he was in London seeking political asylum and that the Indian High Commission was awaiting formal confirmation of his presence from the British government.
The diamond merchant, wanted in India's biggest-ever banking scam, is said to be travelling in and out of the UK freely, possibly on a Singapore passport, not an Indian one.
8. Rajasthan Storms Trap Delhi-NCR in Heat and Dust, Condition 'Severe'
Delhi's air quality plunged into the "severe" category on Wednesday, 13 June, as dusty conditions continued for a second straight day, trapping the city under a blanket of heat and particulate matter. PM 10 levels shot up to over eight times the safe standard, levels last seen this winter.
Agencies like the CPCB and the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) were pushed into action with an emergency task force meeting conducted to issue directions to chief secretaries of all Delhi NCR states to carry out sprinkling of water to keep the dust down and be prepared for any additional measures over the next few days.
9. Dalit Groups Plan Bharat Bandh Over Lateral Entry
The Narendra Modi government’s recent initiative to allow lateral entry into bureaucracy has come up as the latest point of discontent for Dalit groups, which have threatened a repeat of the nationwide protest they held on 2 April against the Supreme Court dilution of certain provisions of the SC/ST Act.
Agitated over the ‘lateral entry’ issue, Dalits see this as a move to bypass constitutional mechanism like the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is mandated to recruit for top government jobs, Dalit activist Ashok Bharti said.
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