QBullet: Sushma to Not Contest 2019 Polls; Kejriwal Attacked
Top stories of the day.
1. Chhattisgarh Elections: Nearly 72% Voting Recorded in Second Phase
A voter turnout of 71.93 percent was recorded in the second and the final phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly elections, said the Election Commission on Tuesday, 20 November. The total average turnout in the state has been 74.17 percent at present with poll officials estimating the final numbers to be little higher than this figure. In 2013, the total voting percentage was 77.12 percent.
The polling in the second phase was held in 72 constituencies of 90-seat Assembly, in which 1,079 candidates, including 119 women contested with an electorate of 1,54,00,596.
2. 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots: Delhi Court Awards Death Penalty to Convict, Life Term to Another
The Delhi Patiala House Court Tuesday, 20 November, awarded death sentence to Yashpal Singh and handed another convict Naresh Sherawat life imprisonment for their role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The verdict was pronounced in Tihar Jail due to security concerns. The convicts were previously attacked on the premises of the Delhi court during the hearing of the case on 15 November.
This was the first conviction in five of the eight cases that were reopened and investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was constituted in 2015. The investigation into three cases involving Congress leader Sajjan Kumar are still pending.
Singh and Sherawat were convicted on 15 November for killing two Sikh youths in Delhi’s Mahipalpur area after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
3. Kejriwal Attacked with Chilli Powder; AAP Says Even CM Not Safe in Delhi
In a major security breach, a sachet of chilli powder was thrown at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday, 21 November, outside his chamber in Delhi Secretariat. The Aam Aadmi Party has described the attack as “politically motivated” while asserting that the BJP is hatching a conspiracy in collusion with Delhi Police to attack the chief minister.
Kejriwal was leaving home for lunch when a middle-aged man bowed before him, claiming he has some grievances. Within seconds, he hurled chilli powder at the CM around 2:30 pm. The man, identified as Anil Sharma, a resident of Narayana, has been detained.
4. Have Made up Mind, Won’t Contest 2019 Polls, Says Sushma Swaraj
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, 66, announced on Tuesday, 20 November, that she will not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections – a statement that took many by surprise more for its timing than its content.
That Swaraj may not fight a direct election after undergoing a kidney transplant in December 2016 was an open secret within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), but she revealed the news at a press conference in Indore in the middle of the Assembly election campaign in Madhya Pradesh.
“It is the party which decides, but I have made up my mind not to contest the next (Lok Sabha) elections,” Swaraj said, adding that she had conveyed her decision to the party leadership due to health reasons.
5. ‘What’s Going on’: Top Court Bristles at Reports on CBI Officer’s Petition
Supreme Court Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, while hearing ousted CBI director Alok Verma’s petition on Tuesday, 20 November, took exception to media reports on the CBI officer Manish Kumar Sinha’s sensational claims in a petition filed yesterday.
“We want to know what is going on,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.
“This court is not a platform for people to come and express what they want... This is a place where adjudication of legal rights takes place and we intend to set it right,” the top judge said after senior lawyer Fali Nariman clarified that the inquiry report against Verma had not leaked as was believed earlier in the day.
6. 12 Dead After Bus Smashes Through Railings, Plunges off Bridge in Odisha’s Cuttack
Twelve people were killed and at least 40 injured when a bus carrying over 50 people fell off a bridge over the Mahanadi river in Odisha’s Cuttack on Tuesday, 20 November, evening.
Police officials said a passenger bus from colliery town of Talcher was on its way to Cuttack when it came across a buffalo on the bridge near Jagatpur area, forcing the driver to slam the brakes. This caused the vehicle to smash through the bridge’s cement railings and fall 30 feet to land on a sandbar on the riverbed.
Twelve people, including three women, have died, state director general of police Ramesh Prasad Sharma said. Four of 40 other injured are in critical condition.
7. Tardy Prosecution to Blame for Acquittals in SC/ST Atrocities Cases, Centre Tells SC
The high rate of acquittals seen under the Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 is not because the cases are false or malafide. It is because of the failure of the police and the prosecution to render justice to a section of society which has suffered social stigma, poverty and humiliation for centuries, the Centre told the Supreme Court.
The government was explaining its decision to enact the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018.
The 2018 Act nullified a 20 March judgment of the Supreme Court, which allowed anticipatory bail to those booked for committing atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes members. The original 1989 Act barred anticipatory bail.
8.Cyclone Gaja Several Times More Devastating Than Thane
Five days after Cyclone Gaja made its midnight landfall between Vedaranyam and Nagapattinam, almost every road, street and habitat here is littered with electrical posts, cables, cellphone towers, tree trunks and branches. Steel roofs of petrol bunks and buildings have been blown off; small bus stands collapsed as their pillars got twisted. Boats were flung away to distant places. There is hardly any structure that has escaped the fury of cyclone.
“The scale of devastation indicates that the impact of this cyclone is at least 10 times more severe than Cyclone Thane (that hit Cuddalore in 2011). It will take at least a month to restore a semblance of normalcy in Nagapattinam,” a senior government official overseeing the relief works told The Hindu.
9. Radical Mistakes Cost Us in England: Kohli
India captain Virat Kohli on Tuesday, 20 November, said his team made some “radical mistakes” during the disappointing tour of England and will look to ensure they are not repeated in the assignment against Australia.
Reflecting on the performance in England, Kohli said: “Our mistakes in England were very radical. The quality of cricket was very high but our mistakes were as radical and that’s why we lost the games.”
He, however, did not specify the exact nature of the “radical mistakes” that he was referring to.
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