QBullet: Sheikh Hasina Set to Win Polls; Triple Talaq Bill in RS

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India
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1. Sheikh Hasina Alliance Set to Sweep Bangladesh Election; Farce, Says Opposition

Bangladesh’s ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set for a decisive victory over the Opposition alliance Sunday, 30 December, night, hours after the counting of votes began. Seven hours into the counting, Hasina looks set to return with a landslide for an unprecedented third consecutive term.

Earlier in the evening, the Opposition had rejected the results as “farcical”, and called for fresh elections under a neutral caretaker government. Voting at the end of the bitterly-contested campaign for the country’s 11th parliamentary election was marred by multiple reports of rigging and intimidation. At least 18 people were killed in election-related violence across Bangladesh on Sunday and about 200 were injured.

(Source: The Indian Express)

2. Uttar Pradesh Police Arrest 19 People in Ghazipur Cop’s Death Case

Police arrested 19 people on Sunday, 30 December, after 32 protesters were named in a first information report (FIR) over the killing of a policeman during mob violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur, according to officials.

Head constable Suresh Pratap Singh Vats (48) was killed on Saturday, 29 December, when protesters threw stones at vehicles returning from the venue of a public meeting addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Vats was hit on the head by a stone when he went to clear a traffic jam. The protesters allegedly belonged to the Nishad Party, a two-year-old political group. They turned violent while demanding the release of four members of the party who were arrested over a blockade.

The head constable’s son said on Sunday that the police were unable to protect their own. “What should we expect from the police if there are not able to protect their own people?” VP Singh said. “What will we do with compensation? I lost my father. Such incidents have happened earlier in Pratapgarh and Bulandshahr.”

(Source: Hindustan Times)

3. BJP Seeks to Push Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha Today

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has issued a whip asking its Rajya Sabha members to be present in Parliament’s upper house as it seeks to have the bill criminalising the practice of instant divorce among a section of Muslims passed on Monday, 31 December.

Lok Sabha cleared the bill on Thursday, 27 December, with 245 voting in its favour and 11 against it. The Congress, other opposition parties, and even the BJP’s friendly party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, staged a walkout from Lok Sabha to protest against the bill.

The fresh bill was introduced in Lok Sabha on 17 December to replace an ordinance or the executive order criminalising the practice. The ordinance was issued in September after the government failed to have an earlier version of the bill passed in Rajya Sabha in December last year.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

4. PM Narendra Modi Renames Three Islands in Andaman & Nicobar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
(Photo: PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday, 30 December, renamed three islands of Andaman and Nicobar as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The three islands — Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island — will now be called Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep, respectively, said Modi at a public function to mark the 75th anniversary of Bose’s declaration of the formation of the Azad Hind government in 1943.

Donning the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) cap, Modi addressed a public meeting at Netaji Stadium on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the hoisting of the Tricolour by Bose in Port Blair.

“When it comes to heroes of the freedom struggle, we take the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with pride. The first Prime Minister of the Azad Hind government Subhash Babu had made India’s independence resolution on the soil of Andaman,” he said.

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. Meghalaya: Divers Scan Mine Interior

The renewed search for at least 13 miners trapped deep inside a water-filled coal mine in Meghalaya for the past 18 days did not yield any result on Sunday, 30 December. The high-power pumps brought in by multiple agencies to drain the water out too could not be operated for technical reasons.

Officials said six divers of the Navy and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) spent four hours underwater surveying the interior of the submerged coal mine at Ksan in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills districts. The mine is about 350 ft deep with about 70 ft of water, officials said.

(Source: The Hindu)

6. Mrinal Sen Was Indian Cinema’s Street Fighter

Filmmaker Mrinal Sen.
Filmmaker Mrinal Sen.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

A key pillar of the celebrated triumvirate that gave Bengali cinema sustained global heft from the 1950s through the 1980s, Mrinal Sen was known to his friends and acquaintances as a shy, reserved man. But he wasn’t one to mince words or lose an opportunity for a conversation.

In the late 1980s, Sen was filming Ek Din Achanak in Kolkata’s rundown Aurora Studios. I, then a rookie with a local newspaper, called him one evening with a request for an interview. His response was typical of the man. He said: “A director in the middle of a shoot is like a student preparing for an exam. You shouldn’t disturb him.” I mustered a sheepish apology. But before I could hang up, he stopped me and added: “But I do have a lunch break. We could talk then.” The interview happened at the appointed time the next day and lasted well beyond the lunch break. I asked him a single question and he talked and talked. I listened, hanging on to every word he uttered.

(Source: The Hindu)

7. Mehbooba Mufti Warns Against Harassment of Militants’ Families in J&K

File image of J&K former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
File image of J&K former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
(Photo: PTI)

After meeting a suspected militant’s sister, who was allegedly beaten up by Jammu and Kashmir Police, former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday, 30 December, warned of “dangerous consequences” if harassment of militants’ families is not stopped.

She met the woman, Rubina, at her residence in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. “Visited Patipora Pulwama where Rubina (whose brother happens to be a militant) was, along with her husband & brother, beaten mercilessly in police custody. The severe nature of her injuries has left her bedridden,” Mufti wrote on Twitter.

(Source: The Indian Express)

8. In Wall-Stalemate, Trump Blames Democrats for Migrant Children’s Death

US President Donald Trump. 
US President Donald Trump. 
(File Photo: Xinhua/IANS)

President Donald Trump has come under criticism for blaming Democrats for the death of two migrant children in the custody of US authorities over the past few weeks as the partial shut down of the federal government entered the ninth with signs it is likely to continue into next year.

The president also misrepresented the father of one the two children and blame him for the death.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

9. BJP Has Links With AgustaWestland: Congress

Alleged AugustaWestland middleman Christian Michel.
Alleged AugustaWestland middleman Christian Michel.
(Photo: PTI)

Launching a counter-offensive on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government over the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter case, the Congress on Sunday, 30 December, said, “The new government at the Centre in 2019 will investigate the nexus between the Italian helicopter manufacturer and the Modi government.”

The Congress’s communication chief, Randeep Surjewala, said the Modi government was the “benefactor, protector and supporter” of AgustaWestland, pointing out that after the BJP came to power at the Centre, the Defence Ministry had lifted the ban on the firm imposed during the UPA rule. The government had even allowed the Italian firm to bid for 100 naval utility helicopters, he said.

“Why did Prime Minister Modi permit a blacklisted company like AgustaWestland to bid for 100 helicopters for Indian Navy? Modiji, why did your government remove AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica from the blacklist?” Mr. Surjewala asked.

(Source: The Hindu)

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